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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.| Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.| Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) and Arkansas City, Arkansas (“Arkansas City”), entered into an October 4th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing alleged violations of a Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. See LIS No. 21-100.

The CAO provides that Arkansas City operates a municipal wastewater treatment facility (“Facility”) in Desha County, Arkansas.

The facility discharges treated wastewater into the Mississippi River. This discharge is regulated by an NPDES permit.

DEQ is stated to have received a complaint of a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (“SSO”) at the Facility’s treatment ponds on February 25th. Arkansas City was contacted by the agency and provided a response that said it could not find evidence of an overflow.

DEQ conducted a review of the certified Discharge Monitoring Reports (“DMR”) submitted by Arkansas City. The following violations were found in the DEQ review:

  1. One (1) violation for Total Suspended Solids
  2. One (1) violation Biochemical Oxygen Need;
  3. Two (2) violations of Fecal Coliform Bacteria

Arkansas City and its consultant are stated to have informed DEQ on March 1st that the Facility was in disrepair and a consultant had been employed to address SSO issues due to flooding, Inflow and Infiltration (“I&I”), and reconstruction and reinforcement of the wastewater treatment lagoon.

Arkansas City submitted a Corrective Action Plan (“CAP”), milestone schedule, and request to enter into a CAO with DEQ to address potential eminent wastewater treatment pond levee failure, possible effluent limit violations, I&I, and SSOs.

DEQ requested additional information about Arkansas City’s corrective actions. According to DEQ, it has not received the requested additional information.

The CAO requires that the Arkansas Professional Engineer submit a revised comprehensive CAP within 30 days of the effective date. The CAP must include:

  • Corrective measures and the best technology available to remedy the violations
  • The best techniques and methods available to repair mechanical equipment
  • Methods and the most effective technologies available to address the collection system I&I
  • There are many methods and the best technology to repair or reinforce the treatment lagoon levees

A milestone schedule with a final compliance date not later than December 31st 2024 must be included.

The DEQ will review and approve the revised CAP. Quarterly progress reports should be submitted.

Arkansas City is subject to a civil penalty of $2,000. This penalty is suspended conditionally if Arkansas City complies fully with the CAO.

Download a copy the CAO here.

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