U.S. EPA orders Arizona city to comply with Clean Water Act

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 15, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the City of Holbrook to comply with its wastewater permit after the city failed to respond to a State-issued Notice of Violation...

• City violated terms of discharge permit for nearly two years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 15, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the City of Holbrook to comply with its wastewater permit after the city failed to respond to a State-issued Notice of Violation.

The order follows nearly two years of attempts by State and federal regulators to bring the city into compliance. Holbrook failed to submit monthly discharge reports for 23 consecutive months and failed to submit monitoring reports characterizing the quality of its treated wastewater, both violations of mandatory terms in the city's permit.

"Holbrook must comply with all conditions of its wastewater permit, including the required monitoring and reporting," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's Water Division Director for the Pacific Southwest region. "Dischargers are responsible for water quality monitoring to show us, and the public, they're complying with their permit and protecting Arizona's waters."

The order requires the city to submit all missing records and reports within 30 days and come into compliance with their wastewater permit. In addition, within 60 days, the city of Holbrook must submit a report detailing all costs associated with complying with the order.

The City of Holbrook holds a permit for the Painted Mesa Water Reclamation Facility which covers discharge of treated wastewater to the Leroux Wash, a tributary to the Little Colorado River. The Little Colorado River is used for swimming, boating and is a drinking water source for some communities.

Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits are used to regulate the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States.

>> Obtain a copy of the order
>> More information on the NPDES permit program

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