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EPA Orders City of Opelousas to Stop Discharge

Release Date: 04/21/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas - April 21, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with the State of Louisiana, has issued a Cease and Desist Administrative Order to the City of Opelousas, Louisiana, ordering the city to immediately stop discharging raw sewage into Bayou Callehan.

The unauthorized discharge, located behind property located at 3406 Ashwood Drive, Opelousas, Louisiana, has occurred since approximately January 28, 2009.

On January 28, 2009, following a citizens’s complaint, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals-Office of Public Health (OPH), conducted an inspection which confirmed that a sewer force main was broken and discharging raw sewage into Bayou Callehan. The sewer force main was damaged during a rainstorm when debris flowing down the bayou collided with the main, causing it to break and leak.

On April 1, 2009, and April 3, 2009, OPH conducted subsequent inspections and determined that the force main had not yet been repaired.

Based on these findings, EPA has ordered the City of Opelousas to immediately stop discharging raw sewage into Bayou Callehan and within 15 days take whatever corrective action is necessary to eliminate and prevent recurrence of the discharge.

The City of Opelousas has also been ordered to submit a written report to EPA within 20 days detailing the specific actions taken to effectively cease and desist the ongoing unauthorized discharge

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/apr2009.html

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