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U.S. settles Clean Water Act violations at seven West Virginia sewage treatment plants

Release Date: 11/13/2002
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567
WHEELING, W. Va. – The United States and West Virginia have settled a Clean Water Act civil lawsuit against the operators of wastewater treatment facilities at five apartment complexes and two housing developments in West Virginia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced today.

The settlements resolve alleged violations at wastewater treatment plants serving two housing developments – Virginia Oaks and Taylor Manor in Marshall County -- and five apartment complexes – Boothsville Apartments in Taylor County; Eagle Hollow Apartments, Marshall County; Smithfield Apartments, Wetzel County; Meadow View Apartments, Harrison County; and Lockwood Apartments, Monongalia County.

The government reached separate settlements with James and Anna Chaplin, the prior owners of all the properties, and current owners of the Lockwood apartments and owners of the wastewater treatment plants at the Taylor Manor and Virginia Oaks developments; and with Belmont Properties Inc., which purchased the Boothsville, Eagle Hollow, Meadow View and Smithfield apartments from the Chaplins in July 2000.

The Chaplins agreed to pay a $175,000 penalty, correct identified deficiencies, perform routine maintenance, and obtain a permit for the Taylor Manor facility. Belmont Properties, as the new owner of four of the complexes, has cooperated with the government and has used a qualified contractor to inspect its facilities, and implement the contractors’ recommendations on repairs, upgrades, and maintenance.

The settlements resolve an August 2000 lawsuit alleging violations at these properties’ wastewater treatment plants, including discharge of pollutants above permit limits, and violations of operation and maintenance requirements. The government also alleged that the Taylor Manor wastewater treatment plant discharged wastewater without a permit. EPA worked closely with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in investigating the properties, and West Virginia is expected to file a motion to join the U.S. as co-plaintiff in this case.

As part of the settlement, the parties neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.

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