Wastewater Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Environmental Quality Division and City of Lake Village Enter Administrative Consent Order | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, LLC

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The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) and the City of Lake Village, Arkansas (“Lake Village”) on April 26 entered into an order Administrative Consent (“CAO”) regarding alleged violations of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Authorization. See DSL No. 22-050.

The CAO plans for Lake Village to operate a small municipal wastewater treatment plant (“facility”) in Chicot County, Arkansas.

The facility is supposed to discharge treated water into Little Bayou Lake which eventually drains into the Arkansas River. These releases are regulated under an NPDES permit.

Lake Village reportedly submitted a Corrective Action Plan (“CAP”) on November 20, 2019, addressing effluent violations. The CAP discussed the corrective actions required to bring the facility into compliance with the NPDES permit effluent limits. It included timelines of milestones for submitting a land application permit. A final compliance date of November 25, 2020 has been included.

The CAP was then approved by DEQ.

Lake Village submitted an application for a state no-discharge permit for land application of municipal biosolids to the DEQ on January 14, 2020. The no-discharge permit was issued to Lake Village on July 25, 2021.

The DEQ conducted a review of certified Discharge Monitoring Reports (“DMRs”) submitted by Lake Village on September 2, 2021. The review reportedly indicated the following alleged violations:

  1. Twenty-five (25) ammoniacal nitrogen violations;
  2. Twelve (12) total suspended solids violations; and
  3. Four (4) violations of fecal coliform bacteria.

The DMR review also reportedly reported flow above the treatment plant’s design flow for 29 of the 36 monitoring periods in the review period.

The DEQ sent a letter to Lake Village on September 2, 2021, requesting a CAP to remedy violations of authorized discharge limits. The CAP had to have a timeline of milestones, an end date for compliance, and be certified by a professional engineer from Arkansas. A CAP was submitted on September 24, 2021, with a final compliance date of October 1, 2022.

On October 8, 2021, DEQ sent Lake Village a letter endorsing the CAP with the following comments:

  1. Contact DEQ within ten (10) days of receipt of this letter to schedule a meeting to discuss the CAP and corrective actions; and
  2. Notify the DEQ at least ten (10) days before the date of the bypass in accordance with Part III, Section B, Condition 4 of the permit.

A follow-up review of DMRs submitted from August 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 identified the following alleged violations:

  1. Three (3) total suspended solids violations;
  2. Two (2) ammonia nitrogen violations; and
  3. Two (2) violations of fecal coliform bacteria.

The CAO requires Lake Village to implement the approved CAP in accordance with the scheduled milestone submitted to the DEQ on September 24, 2021. These components of the CAP are enforceable under the terms of the CAO.

Within 90 calendar days of the effective date of the OAC Lake Village is required to submit to DEQ for review and approval a comprehensive Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring and Infiltration and Inflow (“I/ I”) developed by a professional engineer from Arkansas. The required elements of the study are described in the CAO. Quarterly reports are also required.

A civil penalty of $1,600 is imposed, which is conditionally suspended if Lake Village fully complies with the OAC.

A copy of the CAD can be downloaded here.

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