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Summary of enforcement actions to ensure safe drinking water in Montana, Utah and Wyoming

Release Date: 12/18/2008
Contact Information: Diane Sipe, 303-312-6391; Michael Risner, 303-312-6890 ; Lisa Kahn, 303-312-6896

(Denver, Colo. -- December 18, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues biannual press releases for all drinking water enforcement cases that it initiated during the prior six-month period. EPA issued several emergency and administrative orders in Montana Tribal Lands, Montana, Utah and Wyoming from April 1, 2008, through September 30, 2008, under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

EPA issues an administrative order when a public water system violates the Safe Drinking Water Act and its regulations. An administrative order requires the public water system to comply with the drinking water regulations and includes action items for returning to compliance.

EPA issues an emergency order when there is a potential for imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, such as when acute contaminants have been identified in a public water system or when the water system has experienced a disruption that may endanger public health.

EPA oversees the protection of public health and the environment in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Compliance and enforcement are important components of public health and environmental protection which encourage governments, businesses and other regulated entities to meet their environmental and public health obligations.

The Safe Drinking Water Act establishes specific regulations to assure the safety of public drinking water. For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

The following are summaries of drinking water enforcement activity in EPA Region 8, inlcuding Montana Tribal Lands, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.


MONTANA TRIBAL LANDS

EPA directly implements most provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act on Tribal lands.

EPA issued an emergency administrative order on May 28, 2008, to Rocky Boys Utilities for the Rocky Boy’s Rural Water System (Newtown), Rocky Boy’s Reservation when the distribution system lost pressure. In such situations, potentially harmful contaminants can enter the distribution system through cracks and leaks in the pipes.

EPA also issued an emergency administrative order on July 11, 2008, to the Fort Belknap Agency Water System on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation when the distribution system lost pressure.

Additional emergency orders were issued to the Agnes Leggins and Lodge Pole Housing Water Systems on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation on July 15, 2008, when those systems experienced a loss of pressure.


MONTANA

Although the State of Montana is authorized to implement the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA can take federal action against public water systems in the state that violate the SDWA and its regulations. EPA and Montana have a joint arrangement whereby EPA provides assistance with selected enforcement cases and works with the State to identify the public water systems against which EPA will take federal action.

EPA issued administrative orders to the following Montana public water systems:

Alder Steak House, Alder
Big Sky Corner, Melville
Blue Moon Plentywood, Plentywood
Bull River Country Store, Noxon
Centerville Water Users Assn, Stockett
City of Forsyth
Furniture Row, Billings
Glen’s Mountain View Café, Florence
Kozy Korner Steakhouse, Greenough
Lakeside on Hauser, East Helena
Red Rooster Bar, Shepherd
Reed Point Elementary School, Reed Point
Seeley Lake Water District, Seeley Lake
Silos Inn, Townsend
Spring Creek Coal Co., Decker
Town of Melstone
Town of Pinesdale
Town Pump, Anaconda


UTAH

In Utah, EPA and the State work together to identify public water systems against which EPA will take federal enforcement action. Utah also has authority to issue enforcement actions against water systems in the state. EPA is first required to issue a notice of violation to the State before EPA takes a federal action against a public water system that violates the SDWA.

EPA issued an administrative order to the following Utah public water system:

Boulder King Ranch, Boulder, due to its failure to monitor for total coliform bacteria and nitrate. The system is currently complying with monitoring requirements.

EPA also issued notices of violation to the State for the following public water systems, and has or will soon issue administrative orders to these systems:

Indian Ridge Water District, Fairview, due to failure to monitor for total coliform bacteria and nitrate, and exceedance of the maximum contaminant level for total coliform bacteria. The system is under new management and is progressing toward returning to compliance.

Offshore Marina, Lake Powell, due to failure to monitor for total coliform bacteria and failure to monitor for nitrate. The system is currently complying with monitoring requirements.

Town of Plymouth, due to failure to monitor for disinfection byproducts, chlorine residual, inorganic contaminants, radium 228 and nitrate. The system is currently complying with monitoring requirements.


WYOMING

In the State of Wyoming, EPA directly implements the Safe Drinkling Water Act and issues enforcement actions to public water systems that fail to comply with its regulations.

EPA issued administrative orders to the following public water systems:

Carpenter Water and Sewer, Cheyenne
Dillman Estates, Lingle
ESS/BP Man Camp, Green River
Fairway Estates, Douglas
Hide-A-Way Mobile Home Park, Cheyenne
Lakeview Mobile Home Park, Gillette
Little Moon Lake Supper Club, Torrington
Meadow Springs ISD, Gillette
Sawmill Lodge, Dubois
South Fork Mountain Resort, Buffalo
Southside Well, Gillette
Sunnyside Mobile Home Park, Riverton
Timberline Ranch, Dubois
Town of LaBarge
Town of Lance Creek
Winchester Hills, Cheyenne
Wyoming Lodge Crown Camp Services, Rock Springs


On May 21, 2008, EPA Region 8 issued an emergency administrative order to the following four Wyoming water systems whose shared water source experienced high turbidity levels: Bridger Valley Joint Powers Board, Mountain View; Lower Bench Water and Sewer District, Lyman; the Town of Lyman; and the Town of Mountain View. Turbidity indicates the presence of particles in the water that can interfere with treatment processes and enhance the growth of disease causing organisms in the water.

Another emergency order was issued to the Town of Dixon on May 22, 2008, for a separate high turbidity event. An additional emergency administrative order was issued on July 18, 2008, against Flying X Ranch Mobile Home Park in Wheatland for the presence of E. coli bacteria. EPA also issued an emergency order to Ridgeway Community Well in Gillette on April 27, 2008, when the water system experienced a loss of pressure.

EPA issues a complaint for penalty when a public water system violates an administrative order. The penalty amount is based on a combination of the seriousness of the violations and the size of the population at risk, among other factors.

EPA settled penalty actions with the following public water systems with the penalty amount noted:

Grand Teton RV Park, Moran
Penalty Amount: $7000.00

Big Valley/Crossed Arrows, Meeteetse
Penalty Amount: $1250.00

Line Shack Lodge, Ramsey
Penalty Amount: $1200.00

LeMaster Enterprises, Gillette
Penalty Amount: $1002.50

Town of LaBarge
Penalty Amount: $5000.00