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City of Osceola, Iowa, and EPA Settle Clean Water Act Violations

Release Date: 03/22/2016
Contact Information: Angela Brees, 913-551-7940, brees.angela@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., March 22, 2016) - EPA Region 7 reached a proposed administrative settlement of Clean Water Act violations by the City of Osceola, Iowa, that requires the city to stabilize stream banks of a tributary flowing into White Breast Creek, and pay a cash penalty of $8,400.

EPA investigations from 2012 through 2015 found several violations of the Clean Water Act. The settlement resolves violations of the city’s Clean Water Act permit effluent limitations for carbonaceous biological oxygen demand, ammonia, and total suspended solids. Inspectors also found operational issues such as a discharge due to an inoperable or out-of-service shut-off valve, and discharge overflows of some equipment.

The city’s wastewater treatment plant, which is subject to the permit, discharges to a tributary of White Breast Creek in Clarke County, Iowa, and thereafter to the Des Moines River. The cited violations could potentially impact downstream water quality. The Supplemental Environmental Project to stabilize stream banks is intended to reduce and prevent erosion of the tributary banks, and prevent and reduce sediment from entering downstream waters. The estimated cost for this project is $20,000.

In a separate compliance order that became effective in December 2015, the city agreed to take the necessary steps to resolve the Clean Water Act violations, and become compliant under its current National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. This most recent proposed administrative settlement is to define the cash penalty and Supplemental Environmental Project as a follow-up to the December 2015 order.

The Clean Water Act seeks to protect streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. Protecting streams and wetlands is also part of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures. Pollutants in our water resources can impact water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

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