The Arkansas Department of Energy & Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) and the City of Sulphur Rock, Arkansas (“Sulphur Rock”), entered into a December 13th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing alleged violations of a Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. See LIS 21–136.
The CAO provides that Sulphur Rock operates a municipal wastewater treatment system (“Facility”) in Independence County, Arkansas.
The Facility discharges treated wastewater into Big Creek, which eventually flows into White River. This discharge is permitted by an NPDES permit.
DEQ is stated to have sent Sulphur Rock a letter on September 30, 2019, requesting a Corrective Action Plan (“CAP”) to address violations of the permitted effluent discharge limitations reported for the following parameters:
- Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand;
- Suspended Solids
- Ammonia Nitrogen;
- Dissolve Oxygen
- Fecal Coliform Bacteria
This CAP requires a milestone schedule, a final compliance day, and certification by an Arkansas Professional Engineer.
The CAP was submitted and received a final compliance date on November 30, 2020.
DEQ requested that Sulphur Rock submit an update to its CAP by October 2, 2020. This was submitted to DEQ September 25, 2020 with a final compliance date set for February 26th.
Sulphur Rock submitted an amended CAP on April 30th. The August 31st deadline for final compliance was set for the updated CAP.
DEQ is said to have reviewed certified Discharge Monitoring Reports submitted in accordance with Sulphur Rock’s NPDES permit. The following violations of effluent limits were allegedly identified by DEQ:
- Fivety-six (56) violations of Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand
- Sixty three (63) violations of Total Suspended Soils
- Forty-nine (49) violations of Ammonia Nitrogen
- Four (4) violations of Dissolved Oxygen
- Fecal Coliform Bacteria: Twenty-seven (27) violations
The CAO requires Sulphur Rock’s submission of a Corrective Action report to DEQ within 30 days of its effective date. It must list corrective actions taken, and include photographic evidence. Sulphur Rock must also comply with all permissible effluent limits immediately unless the CAP has been approved by DEQ. Sulphur Rock must comply with all permissible effluent limits by December 31, 2023 in such cases.
Sulphur Rock must submit to DEQ a comprehensive CAP that has been prepared by an Arkansas Professional Engineer if it is unable or unwilling to comply with all permitted effluent limitations within 30 days. This CAP must contain (at a least) the best available technologies and methods that will be used in order to correct the violations outlined in the Findings of Fact. Also, a reasonable milestone plan must be included.
Sulphur Rock must comply with the CAO in full to avoid a civil penalty of $5,000.
You can download a copy of the CAO Here.