Sewage treatment plant fined $75K for discharge violations

WILLIAMSPORT, PA, Feb. 19, 2010 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined the borough of Jersey Shore $75,000 for operation and discharge violations at its sewage treatment plant in Lycoming County...

WILLIAMSPORT, PA, Feb. 19, 2010 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined the borough of Jersey Shore $75,000 for operation and discharge violations at its sewage treatment plant in Lycoming County during 2008 and 2009.

"The borough had several violations of its gas well wastewater acceptance plan in addition to violations of its DEP discharge permit," said DEP North-central Regional Director Robert Yowell. "This has resulted in a significant penalty assessment against the borough."

Between September 2008 and May 2009, the borough's sewage treatment plant had 13 discharge violations for contaminants including fecal coliform and total suspended solids, which is a measure of particulates present in water.

In 2008, DEP approved the borough's gas well wastewater acceptance plan, but imposed a number of operational requirements, as well as sampling and recordkeeping responsibilities.

During a June 2009 plant inspection, DEP discovered that the borough had exceeded the plan's maximum allowable load based on chloride concentrations in the gas well wastewater by transferring excessive volumes of high chloride wastewater into the plant on 10 occasions during April, May and June 2009.

The borough also processed more than the maximum 50,000 gallons per day of gas well wastewater through its plant on more than 10 occasions without approval from the borough manager or engineer.

The other violations included not receiving or maintaining records of additives used by gas well operators that disposed of wastewater at the borough's plant and of analytical pollutant data to be submitted by the gas well operators.

DEP issued an order to the borough on June 23, 2009, requiring it to immediately stop accepting gas well wastewater at its treatment plant and to remove all of the wastewater stored onsite to an approved offsite disposal facility.

Jersey Shore has complied with the provisions of DEP's order and paid the fine to the state's Clean Water Fund, which pays for cleanups across the state.

For more information, call 570-327-3659 or visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

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