So, I’m sitting around at home, doing nothing and another reporter emails me a story. You know, because he didn't want to do the work. Or something.
Anyhoo, it’s a story out of Atlanta, claiming that the EPA fined Knox County $12,000 for violating the Clean Water Act.
It states: “Waste water utilities in 14 municipalities were penalized for failing to provide biosolids reports and/or otherwise failing to comply with Section 503 of the CWA covering requirements for land disposal of sewage sludge.”
It then lists Knox County, as well as a bunch of really crappy places in Georgia and Florida.
However, the federal branch of hippies has not fined the county, according to Michael “Big Sexy” Grider, the county’s one-man spin-machine.
BS: “Knox County doesn’t deal in waste water. Knox County deals in storm water. Knox County was not fined.”
The hero of this blog: “So, who was?”
BS: “I don’t know. That’s an EPA question.”
The hero of this blog: “Screw that. I got better things to do than call a bunch of hippies.”
BS: “Uh . . . they would know. It would be easier to call the EPA than all the districts.”
The hero of this blog: "Yeah, but I don't care. I just want to pad my blog posts for the day before I do that really good one I got planned for either tonight or tomorrow."
BS: "Uh . . . ."
The hero of this blog: "Never mind."
And at that point, I quit taking notes. Essentially the utility districts (I think we have about five of them) are governed by state law and overseen by a board of directors. So, you the “taxpayer” might not pick up the bill. But you the “rate payer” will.
If you’re still with me, then here’s the original story (Be warned, it's boring as heck):
(ATLANTA – Dec. 6, 2011) Over the past fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 issued Consent Agreements and Final Orders (CA/FOs) against 25 entities throughout the Southeast for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). As part of the settlements, the responsible parties in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee agreed to come into compliance and pay $184,317 in civil penalties. Additionally, these entities will spend an estimated $284,791 to come into compliance.
"By taking these enforcement actions, we are sending a strong message about the importance of protecting rivers, lakes and streams,” said Gwen Keyes Fleming, Regional Administrator. “By addressing the violations noted in our inspections, these entities will prevent millions of pounds of pollution from entering the environment, in addition to protecting the quality of life for families across the Southeast.”
Ten 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. The settlements and associated penalties include:
- Port of Mobile, for violations at its Buchanan Lumber Mobile, Inc. in Mobile, Ala. (civil penalty of $4,400)
- The Allen Company, for violations at the Barnes Mill Road Improvement in Richard, Ky. (civil penalty of $7,200)
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, for violations at its US 421 Widening PCN 09-1121 in Frankfort, Ky. (civil penalty of $8,000)
- Mississippi Department of Transportation, for violations at its State Route 19 in Collinsville, Miss. (civil penalty of $44,000)
- South East Development of NC, LLC, for violations at its Sierra Heights subdivision Phase 2 in Clayton, N.C. (civil penalty of $5,000)
- Marion Retail Investments, LLC, for violations at its construction site Grandview Station in Marion, N.C. (civil penalty of $9,000)
- YDV, Incorporated, for violations at its construction sites Compass Pointe Phase 2 and Compass Pointe Phase 3 in Leland, N.C. (civil penalties totaling $14,000)
- City of Memphis, for violations at its Appling/I-40 Northwest Planned Development in Memphis, Tenn. (civil penalty of $2,000)
- Shelby County, for violations at the Houston Levee Road Improvement in Memphis, Tenn. (civil penalty of $37,500)
- Shelby County Schools, for violations at its Shelby County Schools Administration Building in Arlington, Tenn. (civil penalty of $10,000)
The above facilities were issued Administrative Orders requiring the facilities to come into compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and the CWA at an estimated total cost of $284,691. By returning to compliance, 7,831,700 pounds of pollutants (sediment, total suspended solids, nitrogen, etc.) were not discharged into the receiving waters.
One facility was cited for failing to comply with Section 122.23 of the CWA covering Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, including land-application requirements in accordance with its Waste Management Plan and its South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control permit:
- Mayer Dairy Farms, Newberry, S.C. (civil penalty of $2,717)
An Administrative Order was issued to Mayer Dairy requiring the facility to come into compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and the CWA at an estimated cost of $100. By returning to compliance, 15,000 pounds of pollutants (sediment and nitrogen) were not discharged into the receiving waters.
Lastly, wastewater utilities in 14 municipalities were penalized for failing to provide biosolids reports and/or otherwise failing to comply with Section 503 of the CWA covering requirements for land disposal of sewage sludge:
- Alabaster, Ala. (civil penalty of $1,800)
- Sheffield, Ala. (civil penalty of $900)
- Clewiston, Fl. (civil penalty of $900)
- Plantation, Fl. (civil penalty of $900)
- Lake City, Fl. (civil penalty of $900)
- Starke, Fl. (civil penalty of $900)
- Cartersville, Ga. (civil penalty of $2,000)
- Greensboro, Ga. (civil penalty of $900)
- Monroe, Ga. (civil penalty of $900)
- Pembroke, N.C. (civil penalty of $900)
- Knox County, Tenn. (civil penalty of $12,000)
- Loudon Utilities, Tenn. (civil penalty of $5,000)
- Newport Utilities, Tenn. (civil penalty of $7,500)
- Springfield, Tenn. (civil penalty of $5,000)
Congress enacted the 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 either failing to meet the requirements of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and subsequently causing point source discharges; failing to comply with biosolids requirements; or by filling or dredging wetlands. 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.