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Invensys Slams EPA Discharge Plans

InvensysTighter EPA regulations covering discharges into the Neponset Reservoir in Foxborough, Mass., have drawn criticism from technology firm Invensys, one of the town’s major employers.

New standards included in the EPA‘s draft pollution discharge permit call for tighter regulation of impurities carried at trace levels by stormwater runoff into the reservoir, The Sun Chronicle reports.

Invensys, which the paper says is the town’s second largest employer, stopped direct discharge into the reservoir 25 years ago. The company says that the new regulations are at best unwarranted and perhaps unattainable and may cost it between $6 million and $17 million, the paper reports. The company has described the rules as “excessively stringent.”

However, others support the permit. The town’s selectmen — its form of government — have written to the EPA urging the the agency to speed up the new permit’s introduction.

The letter points out that the EPA has carried out two public comment periods on the draft permit in the last decade, but that it has yet to issue new guidance.

In August, the EPA proposed changing from paper to e-reporting in an attempt to modernize enforcement of the Clean Water Act, and plans to make companies’ data accessible to the public.

The switch would make information about specific facilities — such as inspection and enforcement history, pollutant monitoring results and other data required by permits — accessible through the EPA’s website. The change will affect hundreds of thousands of industrial, government and other facilities.

In July, Schneider Electric announced plans to offer £3.3 billion ($5 billion), to take over Invensys. The target company says it’s likely to accept an offer at that value.

Schneider said that the acquisition would increase its focus on the industry automation sector, significantly growing its access to electricity-intensive segments where the company already offers energy management products. The purchase would also give Schneider a leading position in the operational efficiency software market, the company says.

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