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Berkshire Power Plant Agrees To Plead Guilty To Emissions Tampering

This is the seal of the U.S. Deparment of Justice

The owner and manager of the Berkshire Power Plant in Agawam have agreed to plead guilty to tampering with emissions equipment and submitting false information to regulators. The companies have agreed to pay $8.5 million in penalties.Wednesday’s announcement by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz was the result of a state and federal investigation into charges of air pollution monitoring equipment tampering and related false emissions reporting between 2009 and 2011.

Plant manager Power Plant Management Services also agreed to plead guilty to charges that it violated the Federal Power Act, the first ever criminal charges under this statute, according to Ortiz’s office. It stems from allegations that PPMS made false statements to the regional power grid administrator regarding the plant’s availability to produce power. 

The U.S. Attorney’s office says employees tampered with equipment to conceal the fact that the plant was emitting air pollutants in excess of permitted levels.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org