Former Agawam power plant manager sentenced for emissions fraud

Berkshire Power Agawam, Ma
Berkshire Power Agawam, Ma (Google Maps)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A former manager of a western Massachusetts power plant has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to tampering with emissions equipment and submitting bogus reports to regulators in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

Fred Baker, of Southampton, former operations and maintenance manager at Berkshire Power Plant in Agawam, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Federal prosecutors say the plant artificially lowered emissions numbers to save money, delay needed repairs and avoid reporting that the plant was releasing certain pollutants at an illegally high level.

The companies that owned and operated the plant — Berkshire Power Co. and Power Plant Management Services — were ordered in March to pay more than $7 million in fines and penalties.