The citations stem from November and December 2013 investigations carried out by the EPA. The agency found Leavenworth was contaminating local waterways with unauthorized sewer overflows, and the city had not fulfilled the comprehensive stormwater management program plan that is required by its storm water system permit.
Stormwater from urban areas can wash contaminants such as excessive nutrients, sediment and toxic metals into waterways, and stormwater runoff can cause erosion and damage in streams. Because of these risks, municipalities are required to have a role in preventing runoff and pollution from entering waterways through their stormwater.
Under the recently agreed upon settlements, Leavenworth will be developing and implementing a stormwater management program plan that will reduce its urban stormwater pollution. The city must also eliminate all unlawful sewer overflows by December 2020.
Leavenworth will pay a $46,200 penalty and will spend an additional $38,800 on a Supplemental Environmental Project, wherein the city will expand its storm sewer project with further water quality upgrades.