The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality (“MCEQ”) and the City of Hazlehurst, Mississippi (“Hazlehurst”), entered into a September 21st Agreed Order (“AO”) addressing alleged violations of a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. See Order 7219 22.
The AO references a public owned treatment works (“POTW”) operated by Hazlehurst.
The City of Hazlehurst is stated to have been contacted by MCEQ by letter dated June 14, 2020. The letter identified alleged violations discovered during a compliance evaluation inspection on April 19th at the facility Hazlehurst operates in Copiah County.
The alleged violations included:
- Failure to properly operate, maintain, and when necessary, promptly replace all facilities and systems of collection, treatment, and control which are installed or used to achieve compliance with the conditions of the NPDES permit
- Failure to maintain all records and results of monitoring activities required by the permit for a minimum of three years
On April 5th Hazlehurst is stated to have been contacted by MCEQ and notified of the following violations:
- Respondent violated the effluent Total Suspended Solids concentration limitation during the 2019 monitoring period.
- Respondent violated the minimum effluent Dissolved Oxygen limitation during the 2020 monitoring period.
- Respondent violated the effluent Total Ammonia Nitrogen [as N] concentration limitation during the 2020 and 2021 monitoring periods.
- Respondent violated the effluent Fecal Coliform limitation during the 2020 monitoring period.
- Respondent violated the effluent Total Residual Chlorine concentration limitation during the 2021 monitoring period.
Hazlehurst, pursuant to December 15, 2021, and February 7, 2022, letters asserted:
- The violations of Condition No. T-28 were corrected. The influent pump station was operational on December 10, 2021. The lagoon’s aerators were operational on lune 22, 2021. The sand filters were scarified and raked on June 17, 2021. The chlorine gas feed system was operational on June 22, 2021. An operational effluent flow meter was installed and calibrated .
- The violation of Condition No. T-25 of NPDES Permit No. MS0023884 was corrected. Inframark LLC began management and operation of the facility on September 1, 2021.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director executed a Loan Agreement by letter dated February 4, 2022, which Hazlehurst states will return the POTW to compliance with its NPDES permit.
A civil penalty of $2,062.50 is assessed. However, Hazlehurst shall not be required to pay the civil penalty pending its compliance with certain requirements set forth in the AO.
A copy of the AO can be downloaded here.