Rhode Island AG Files Lawsuit over Wastewater Treatment Facility’s Illegal Discharges into River

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha filed a lawsuit against the City of Woonsocket and two companies that operated a wastewater treatment plant in the city for allegedly discharging partially treated sewage into the Blackstone River. According to the complaint, the facility intermittently discharged contaminated water into the river, starting in November 2021 and as recently as March 2023, frequently exceeding its permitted effluent limits for nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants. AG Neronha alleged that these discharges violated the state’s Clean Water Act, Freshwater Wetlands Act, Environmental Rights Act, and public nuisance laws, and sought compensatory damages for health impacts and natural resource contamination, among other costs and penalties.