EPA orders North Las Vegas to address CWA violations in Las Vegas Wash

The Environmental Protection Agency has officially issued an order to the City of North Las Vegas, Nev., to immediately address federal Clean Water Act violations dealing with discharges of polluted water from its Water Reclamation Facility into the Las Vegas Wash.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 2, 2015 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially issued an order to the City of North Las Vegas, Nev., to immediately address federal Clean Water Act violations dealing with discharges of polluted water from its Water Reclamation Facility into the Las Vegas Wash, which eventually feeds into Lake Mead. This is a potential result of deficiencies in the management of the city's wastewater pretreatment program.

EPA requires cities to develop a program to regulate pollutants originating from industrial users of the municipal wastewater treatment systems that may contaminate sewage sludge or interfere with the treatment. This action is a result of EPA's September 2014 inspection to determine North Las Vegas's compliance with the requirements in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the General Pretreatment Regulations.

In 2011, the city completed construction of a new wastewater treatment facility on Betty Lane but failed to develop and seek approval for its new pretreatment program. EPA found that North Las Vegas did not evaluate its permitting process and ensure that it controls the contribution of each industrial user to the plant through current, unexpired permits. In addition, the city failed to allocate the proper resources and qualified personnel to adequately implement its pretreatment program.

The order requires a commitment of staffing and financial resources on behalf of the city to make improvements to its pretreatment program. Once implemented, it will be in compliance with EPA's standards, which will prevent the introduction of pollutants that can cause environmental and public health concerns and shorten the life of the infrastructure.

The order establishes federally enforceable timelines and requires the City of North Las Vegas to:

  • Correct permit errors by re-permitting significant industrial users of their system
  • Audit and make corrections to its compliance program
  • Submit its program to EPA for approval under the Clean Water Act

As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.

See also:

"EPA strengthens federal underground storage tank requirements to reduce leaks"

"EPA officially issues health advisories for cyanotoxins in drinking water"

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