The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) and City of Flippin, Arkansas (“Flippin”), entered into a September 21st Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing alleged violations of a Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. See LIS No. 21-104.
The CAO says that Flippin releases treated wastewater to Fallen Ash Creek. This eventually flows into the White River.
The facility discharge is regulated by an NPDES permit.
Flippin is reported to have submitted a Non-Compliance Letter with a Non-Compliance Report on June 20, 2018, to address an Ammonia Nitrogen violation that was reported during the May 2018 monitoring period.
According to the letter, it contained detailed plans Flippin needed to clean, inspect, and camera the entire collection system. The letter also stated that Flippin had to clean, inspect, and record the entire collection system. It also gave a final compliance date for November 2019 for repairs. DEQ was then notified on October 23, 2018 of a delay.
Flippin submitted a preliminary schedule for planned improvements to facility and collection system with a final compliance deadline of February 2021. Flippin also requested to terminate the current construction permits.
Flippin submitted a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) between the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and Flippin setting forth project funding, along with a planning and design schedule for wastewater improvements. The MOA set October 1st as the final compliance date.
According to DEQ, the facility was subject to a compliance inspection on February 28, 2020. The inspection report noted that Flippin was participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Circuit Rider Assistance Program, including the federal agency assistance with development of a compliance plan. EPA submitted the initial draft of Flippin’s compliance plan developed under such program on April 22, 2020.
According to DEQ, the facility was subject to a routine compliance inspection on August 18, 2020. The following violations were found during such inspection:
- During the monitoring period April 2019 to November 2019, violations of effluent were reported
- Since 2010, secondary flowmeters have not been calibrated and calibrated by qualified technicians
- Failure to submit Non-Compliance Reports (NCRs), regarding effluent violations that were reported in 2019
DEQ claims to have sent an email asking Flippin to submit the missing reports of non-compliance for the following monitoring periods.
- 2018: May; June; September; December;
- 2019: February, March; April; May; June; July; September
Flippin later stated that it was waiting approval from DEQ for the State Construction Permit. The noncompliance report would be submitted. On March 31st, Flippin provided an update on the status of the facility’s improvement projects.
DEQ requested an updated Corrective Action Plan (“CAP”) on May 17th, which was submitted on May 19th. It conducted a review of Sanitary Sewer Overflows (“SSOs”) reported by Flippin in accordance with the permit for the period of April 1, 2018 through April 30, 2021. Sixty-eight SSOs had been reported.
The agency conducted a DEQ review on Flippin’s certified Discharge Monitoring Reports on July 29th. It found the following violations
- Eighty-four (84) violations Ammonia Nitrogen
- Thirty (30 violations of Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand
- Two (2) violations to Total Suspended Solids
- One (1) violation of Fecal Coliform Bacteria.
Flippin must immediately comply with the amended CAP dated May 19. The final compliance date is November 30, 2022. The terms of the CAO will fully enforce the updated CAP, milestone schedule and final compliance date.
Flippin must submit a certification from an Arkansas Professional Engineer certifying compliance by December 31, 2022. This certification states that Flippin has completed the corrective actions listed under the revised CAP and that Flippin is in compliance. Quarterly progress reports must be submitted.
Flippin must comply with the CAO in full to avoid a civil penalty of $3,000.
Download a copy the CAO Here.