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City of Plainview, Neb., to Pay $14,940 Civil Penalty for Violating Clean Water Act and Terms of Pollution Discharge Permit

Release Date: 09/21/2009
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 21, 2009) - The City of Plainview, Neb., has agreed to pay a $14,940 civil penalty to the United States for violations of the federal Clean Water Act, and requirements of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

According to a consent agreement and final order filed administratively in Kansas City, Kan., an April 2008 inspection found that Plainview violated the Clean Water Act by failing to meet effluent limitations for ammonia and nitrogen, as set forth by its NPDES permit. Violations of these limitations are known to adversely impact, and are potentially toxic to, aquatic life.

Additionally, the inspection found that Plainview failed to comply with NPDES permit requirements related to sampling procedures, recordkeeping and reporting.

Besides paying the $14,940 civil penalty, Plainview has agreed to spend $10,860 on a public education and assistance program aimed at eradicating illegal sump pump connections to its wastewater collection system. Those connections, although prohibited by city ordinances, have contributed to the inflow of groundwater into the city's wastewater lagoon, adding to the city's water permit compliance issues.

Many homes in Plainview are situated in low areas that require sump pump usage. Through the education and assistance program, the city will seek to help homeowners correct illegal sump pump connections, which should decrease the toxicity of wastewater flowing into the treatment lagoon, and avoid unnecessary burdens on the system.

Plainview's wastewater treatment plant, located at 537 Avenue and 863 Road, is authorized by its NPDES permit to discharge water into an unnamed tributary of Dry Creek.

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