City Government RMClayton plant 2

Published on May 9th, 2016 |

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City faces $378,136 in fines to EPD for wastewater handling violations

The Atlanta City Council Utilities Committee on Tuesday will consider a resolution authorizing Mayor Kasim Reed to make a payment of $378,136 to the state to settle allegations of environmental violations over handling of wastewater from January 2009 through August 2015.Watershed Management logo

If the Utilities Committee and full City Council approve the resolution, the mayor would make the payment under a consent order with the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The resolution states that by making the payment, the city neither agrees to any violation nor admits liability—standard language in all such consent order resolutions. However, BuckheadView asks: If not guilty as charged, why pay the fine?

EPD and Atlanta Department of the Watershed Management documents cite 34 unpermitted discharges in the millions of gallons – the worst being a mechanical malfunction Jan. 11, 2014, that led to 111.7 million gallons released from the West Area Combined Sewer Overflow Water Quality Control Facility.

Another incident, from Oct. 20, 2011, involved a bisulfite spill at the Intrenchment Creek Water Quality Control Facility in southeast Atlanta that killed an estimated 1,226 fish and affected 0.7 miles of stream.

The resolution also cites 131 effluent limit violations, 37 permit violations and 15 major outfall spills.

BuckheadView would hope the Utilities Committee would also consider the total amount of fines the city has paid to the Georgia EPD and the federal Environmental Protection Agency since 1998 when the federal court’s Consent Order went into force requiring that the city correct these illegal environment events

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