Sewage discharge violations result in DOJ complaint against Unalaska, AK

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SEATTLE, WA, June 24, 2011 -- The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a Clean Water Act complaint against the City of Unalaska, Alaska, and the State of Alaska.

The complaint, filed on behalf of the U.S. EPA, alleges that the city's wastewater treatment plant reported more than 4,800 violations of discharge permit pollution limits between October 2004 and October 2010. As a result, partially-treated sewage was discharged into South Unalaska Bay. That sewage contained several pollutants including fecal coliform bacteria at levels well above legal limits.

The court is being asked to order the city to undertake all measures necessary to comply with the Clean Water Act and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, including any necessary structural and operational changes to its facility. The complaint also seeks a civil penalty.

Unalaska Bay is listed as an impaired water-body and is home to several endangered or threatened species including sea otters, yellow-billed loons and Steller's eiders, a species of sea duck.

More information about the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm

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