Northeast Ohio company fined $50,000 for discharging sewage with high concentrations of metals

IndustriesAssociated Press

A Cleveland metal plating company has been fined $50,000 for making illegal discharges with high concentrations of metals into Lake Erie.

Federal prosecutors say Kelly Plating Co. also agreed to make a $25,000 donation to the Cleveland Foundation that will be used to improve water quality in northeast Ohio.

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Prosecutors say an employee who operated the equipment used to reduce the level of pollutants discharged into the sewer system to an acceptable level altered the machinery on the weekends so that partially treated wastewater and sludge was released into the sewer.

The discharges in 2012 contained high concentrations of chrome and zinc, which ended up in Lake Erie.

The employee, Thomas White, pleaded guilty to two counts of making improper discharges. He's scheduled to be sentenced April 16.