Sunday, February 23, 2020

EPA settles with Columbia, MO, over Clean Water Act violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the City of Columbia, Missouri, recently reached a settlement agreement for Clean Water Act violations at the Columbia Landfill and Yard Waste Composting Facility.

The settlement stems from an April 2014 EPA inspection, which found that the facility was discharging pollutants into Hinkson Creek in amounts that violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit limits. EPA inspectors also cited the landfill and composting facility for failing to keep to permit limits for biochemical and chemical oxygen demands, total suspended solids and iron. The facility also did not operate under stormwater best management practices or good housekeeping procedures.

Hinkson Creek’s levels of pollutants like E. Coli have landed it on the state’s list of impaired waters.

Through the proposed settlement, the city will pay a civil penalty of $54,396 and complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), valued at at least $475,000, that will create a wetland area to further filter pollutants from the landfill’s discharges before they reach Hinkson Creek.

Further, the EPA has ordered the city to submit a plan for attaining Clean Water Act compliance, as well as quarterly updates on its results, that falls outside the scope of the settlement agreement.

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EPA Region 7 (Midwest)

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