Boott Hydropower has entered into a settlement arrangement with Massachusetts over its failure to notify the US state about an oil spill that reached the Merrimack river.

In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney general, Martha Coakley, said the spill had occurred at the firm’s Lowell hydro plant. The company has agreed to pay a US$125,000 civil penalty over the violation of state environmental reporting rules.

In addition, it has agreed to develop and implement an environmental management system.

The oil spill was caused by a malfunction in one of the plant’s two turbines on 24 June 2005. State authorities were alerted to the spill by the public. Boott Hydropower agreed to take actions to contain and clean up the spill, but its failure to notify the authorities within two hours of the spill resulted in the legal complaint against the firm.

The state’s complaint against the firm, and the statement of settlement, have both been filed with Suffolk Superior Court.