Town Will Pay $56,350 to Resolve Violations
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) announced that it has formally settled environmental violations involving the Town of Randolph. Randolph operates a wastewater treatment facility which discharges to the White River and is subject to a discharge permit.
In late November 2012 the Agency received an anonymous complaint of floatable material and solids being discharged from the wastewater treatment facility to the Third Branch of the White River. Agency personnel immediately responded to the complaint and observed toilet paper, human waste, and grease discharging from the facility’s outflow pipe. Follow up investigation revealed that one of the facility’s two aerators was inoperable, and that earlier in November, both of the facility’s aerators had been inoperable for over seven days. This breakdown of the aerators, a result of operator error, was not reported to the Agency as required by the issued discharge permit. The investigation also revealed numerous operation and maintenance violations due to operator error, effluent limit violations, the failure to notify of non-compliance, and late submission of monthly reports. The Town’s Chief Operator resigned and left the State during the course of the investigation. The Town hired an interim operator and later a new permanent operator and addressed the maintenance and operational deficiencies identified during the investigation. As a result the plant has been operating in compliance with the issued permit.
At the completion of the investigation CED notified the Town of the violations and it agreed to settle the matter. The settlement was reduced to an Assurance of Discontinuance, and adopted as an order by the Environmental Court. In it, the Town of Randolph agrees to pay a $28,175.00 penalty and contribute an additional $28,175.00 to a Supplemental Environmental Project. The Town also agreed to retain an independent consultant to evaluate the current operations of the facility, including anticipated staffing levels during construction of a new treatment facility; prepare a procedure to address any inadequacies; and submit the evaluation and procedure to the Agency for review and approval.
Contact: John Zaikowski, 802-522-5438