Southeast facilities ordered to stop discharging, comply with Clean Water Act

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 5, 2010 -- The U.S. EPA issued Administrative Orders (AOs) against nine entities throughout the Southeast during the last quarter of 2009 for violations of the Clean Water Act...

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 5, 2010 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Administrative Orders (AOs) against nine entities throughout the Southeast during the last quarter of 2009 for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

"By taking these enforcement actions, we are sending a strong message about the importance of protecting rivers, lakes and streams across the Southeast," said Stan Meiburg, EPA Region 4 Acting Regional Administrator. "To protect our region's waters, these regulated entities must comply with the Clean Water Act and promptly take the steps needed to resolve the violations noted in our inspections."

Six entities were cited for alleged stormwater-related violations of the CWA. Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Over land or via storm sewer systems, polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies. Four of the entities cited and their associated violations include:

• Mississippi Department of Transportation, for violations along State Route 19 between the Lauderdale County line and State Route 492 in Collinsville, Miss.;
• Pontotoc Union Lee Alliance, Eutlaw Construction Company Inc. and L & T Construction Inc., for violations along the Blue Springs Rail Spur and Blue Springs North Loop Interchange in Blue Spring, Miss.;
• Trinity Development Group, Ltd., for violations at the Cypress Landing subdivision in Gautier, Miss.; and
• Wrigleyville Development Company Inc., for violations at Wrigleyville subdivision in Gulfport, Miss.

EPA issued AOs requiring each of the four violators to revise their Notice of Intent for Permit coverage, modify their Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, institute an inspection program, and address areas of potential discharges.

Another company, Kings Mountain Landing Inc., was cited for alleged stormwater-related violations at Kings Mountain Landing subdivision in Lake Hartwell, Ga. EPA issued an AO requiring Kings Mountain Landing to properly design, install and maintain best management practices, conduct adequate self-inspections, monitor turbidity, and cease the discharge of off-site sediment into an unnamed tributary to Lake Hartwell.

Buchanan Lumber Mobile Inc., was also cited for alleged stormwater-related violations at its facility in Mobile, Ala. EPA issued an AO requiring the company to conduct monitoring of all discharge points and submit monitoring data to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management; develop and implement best management practices and a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan; institute an inspection program; and provide personnel training.

In addition, two wastewater treatment plants were cited for permit violations. Loudon Utilities in Loudon, Tenn., was cited for allowing unauthorized discharges of sewage from its wastewater collection system, known as sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and failure to develop and/or implement the management, operation and maintenance programs outlined in the facility's 2003 Consent Agreement with EPA. EPA issued an AO requiring the utility to eliminate SSOs by developing information management programs, tracking complaints, conducting sewer system inventories and mapping sewers, among others.

Tabor City, N.C., was cited for the discharge of pollutants from its wastewater treatment plant including mercury, nitrogen and ammonia. Further, biological oxygen demand and residual chlorine were found to be in excess of limitations. EPA issued an AO requiring the city to submit and implement a Mercury Minimization Plan, conduct additional mercury testing and submit the results, and submit monthly Discharge Monitoring Reports of all its discharges.

Lastly, Peachy Dairy Inc., was issued an AO for violations of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations requirements of the CWA at its facility in Myakka City, Fl. The order requires Peachy Dairy to cease the improper disposal of deceased animals in order to come into compliance with the facility's approved nutrient management plan and permit. Further, Peachy Dairy is required to provide quarterly sampling reports for its waste storage pond to determine nutrient levels.

Congress enacted the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972 to protect the nation's rivers, lakes and stream, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. The entities cited violated the CWA by failing to meet the requirements of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and subsequently causing point source discharges. Pollutants of concern include nutrients, sediment, oil and grease, chemicals and metals. When left uncontrolled, water pollution can deplete needed oxygen and/or otherwise result in the destruction of aquatic habitats, as well as the fish and wildlife that depend on them. Water pollution can also contaminate food, drinking water supplies and recreational waterways, and thereby pose a threat to public health.


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