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Sewage spills prompt lawsuit in Plymouth

State officials are suing the company that runs Plymouth’s wastewater treatment system, alleging that repeated sewage spills have led to environmental concerns, including the temporary closure of local shellfish beds.

A complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday accuses Veolia Water North America-Northeast and the town of Plymouth of allowing more than 10 million gallons of raw sewage to escape in December and January, contaminating a tract of state-owned land and other locations.

In addition, the suit said, there have been three incidents since 2012 in which Veolia and the town have discharged large amounts of inadequately treated wastewater that resulted in the closure of shellfish beds of Plymouth Harbor because of high fecal coliform levels.


The beds have since reopened, officials said.

“This is a case involving repeated, serious violations of state laws that threatened public health and our invaluable water resources,” Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement Thursday announcing the lawsuit.

state also alleges that the Plymouth facilities did not have enough staff.

The suit demands full compliance, along with up to $50,000 for each day of violation, plus court costs.

Veolia said in a statement that it takes environmental concerns seriously and officials are disappointed by the lawsuit because they have been meeting with Healey’s office to discuss “a series of complex regulatory issues — the vast majority of these issues are historical and have been already been resolved.”

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.