Portland landlord fined by DEP for sewage releases

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PORTLAND — A fine paid by a city landlord for illegal sewage discharge will help pay for a water study on the Goosefare Brook watershed in Saco.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection assessed a $32,400 fine against Birchlane LLC last month after a pump station at apartments on White Birch Lane failed “on multiple occasions during 2011 and 2012,” according to the department.

The pump failures led to sewage discharges into “an unidentified wetlands,” DEP spokesman Peter Carney said. The agency will suspend $22,400 of the fine if Birchlane installs a sewer system and stops using the pump station by July 15.

Of the remaining $10,000 fine, Carney said Birchlane can directly fund the water study by sending $8,000 to Saco.