City, state work on water treatment violations
Rockland — City officials met with representatives of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Nov. 1 to discuss how to address violations at the city's wastewater treatment plant, according to a memo from Pollution Control Director Terry Pinto to City Manager James Smith.
Pinto said that depending on what DEP requires of the city in terms of upgrades, addressing the issues could be very expensive. He said there has been no detrimental impact to the environment.
John Glowa of the Enforcement Section of the Division of Water Quality Management sent a letter to the city March 29 notifying it of violations with the wastewater treatment facility and the collection system.
"A cursory review of effluent data show that the facility has had numerous effluent violations since issuance of the current permit Dec. 21, 2007," the letter states. Glowa said the matter was being referred to the Water Enforcement Unit for review and possible enforcement action.
The city faces potential enforcement action and penalties from the state.
The city and state are working on a consent agreement to resolve the problems. City officials are putting together a detailed plan to address the violations.
The violations related to how data was noted on forms at the plant and sewer problems experienced in wet weather and in dealing with discharge from FMC. The city also needs to prepare for new requirements state and federal regulators may put in place.
City Manager James Smith said Nov. 4 this arose as part of the treatment plant permit renewal process.
He said there is no reason for concern about health or safety as a result of these problems.
Pinto said the city was almost through the renewal process for its expired permit when the EPA audited all of its records. He believes other plants in the state and the nation will face similar scrutiny.
The Rockland plant faces unique challenges he said, dealing not only with normal city wastewater, but FMC discharge, leachate from the city landfill and up to 30 million gallons a day of storm water.
New regulations may add new challenges as well.
"Every new regulation has a cost to it," he said.
Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at email@example.com or 594-4401, ext. 122.
207 594-4401 ext. 122
Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
Recent Stories by Dan Dunkle
Dec 12, 2013
Dec 11, 2013
Dec 11, 2013
Dec 09, 2013
Dec 09, 2013