City of Jerome, Idaho Settles Wastewater Permit Violations with EPA
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City of Jerome, Idaho Settles Wastewater Permit Violations with EPA

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City agrees to spend $43 million to upgrade plant

Seattle, WA – August 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Wastewater discharged into the Snake River, the J8 canal and other waters will be cleaner as a result of a recent settlement between the City of Jerome, Idaho and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The City has agreed to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to ensure the facility has the capacity to handle future discharges.

The Clean Water Act requires that wastewater discharges comply with permitted limits for a variety of pollutants. Between April 2010 and July 2011, numerous discharges from the treatment plant exceeded permit limitations for biological oxygen demands, total suspended solids, chlorine, fecal coliforms, e.coli, pH, phosphorous and dissolved oxygen.

“Wastewater treatment plants can contribute large amounts of pollution to our waterways, so it’s critically important that the discharges are properly controlled and treated,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “This action will move us closer to our goal of removing the Snake River from the list of impaired water bodies and ensuring clean water for drinking, fishing, swimming and other activities for everyone in Idaho.”

The July 30, 2015 Consent Decree between the City of Jerome and EPA sets forth actions that the City will take to settle numerous violations of their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

To bring the wastewater discharges into compliance, the City of Jerome has constructed an emergency storage pond that can hold 21 million gallons of wastewater. The City will also make approximately $43 million in improvements to the wastewater treatment facility over the next six years. These upgrades will include adding two basins and increasing blower capacity in the membrane treatment area, adding a new sludge dewatering building, adding an additional aeration basin, pump station and blower building, new yard piping and increased biotower ventilation.

In addition, the City of Jerome will pay an $86,000 civil penalty to settle claims it was discharging wastewater in violation of its permits.

More information on NPDES Permits and how EPA enforces the Clean Water Act: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/

Contact Information: Judy Smith, Public Affairs Officer 503-326-6994 smith.judy (at) epa (dot) gov

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