The city has sued the operator of the Central Landfill in Johnston for allegedly sending polluted wastewater to Cranston's water treatment facility.
In a lawsuit filed in Rhode Island Superior Court, the city alleges the landfill operator has been "causing a significant load on the [treatment plant] by discharging "pollutants at levels that exceed limits set forth" in the city's Sewer Use Ordinance and a separate agreement between the city and Resource Recovery.
The suit alleges that testing shows the quantity and concentration of various pollutants in RIRRC's wastewater have "increased substantially" since 1998 and Cranston continues to "incur substantial additional costs and expenses" to treat it.
Additionally, Cranston is warning that upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, which are expected to be completed to by 2016, are not intended to handle additional discharge from RIRRC because of the landfill operator's plan to stop sending wastewater to Cranston and instead, to the Narragansett Bay Commission. That plan was announced by RIRRC in 2010 and Cranston updated its improvement plan to the wastewater plant, downgrading its capacity to reflect the lack of RIRRC wastewater, as a result.
"Cranston is in the process of performing the [upgrades] and RIRRC must stop discharging its wastewater to the [plant] or Cranston will be in violation of the 2009
Consent Agreement, its RlPDES Permit, and the regulations," the suit states.
Cranston is asking for the court to order RIRRC to immediately stop discharging into the Cranston plant and to pay unspecified fees and damages caused by handling the polluted wastewater.