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State of Vermont
Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Compliance & Enforcement Division

Press Release

December 07, 2010
Town of Pittsford

WATERBURY - The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division today announced that it has formally settled environmental violations involving the Town of Pittsford. The Town owns and operates a Wastewater Treatment Facility which is subject to a discharge permit and sludge management plan. The settlement includes a $13,375 Supplemental Environmental Project.

From 2005 to 2009 the facility periodically exceeded the effluent limit for E. coli and on one occasion in 2009 exceeded the effluent limit for settleable solids in violation of its discharge permit. On October 28, 2009 the Facility spilled approximately 500 gallons of sludge onto the ground while pumping sludge from the facility’s chlorine contact tank to a hauling truck. This method of sludge removal was not approved under its sludge management plan, and sludge entered a storm drain which discharged to a small unnamed stream and Class II wetland in violation of State law and its discharge permit.

In response to the violations the Town hired an engineer to assess the facility and develop a design proposal to address disinfection and sludge management. The Town also passed a $1.97 million sewer bond referendum which will be directed towards improvements to its municipal wastewater collection system and upgrades to the facility treatment and disinfection systems.

The matters came to light through a combination of routine Agency oversight, Town self-reporting, and through follow up Agency inspection and investigation. After the investigation was completed, the Town was notified of the violations and agreed to settle the matter.

The settlement was reduced to an Assurance of Discontinuance and was so ordered by the Environmental Court. In it, the Town agreed to refrain from collecting any sludge unless done in accordance with the current plan or a new approved plan; design and complete construction of wastewater collection system and facility treatment components; conduct an assessment of the new components and submit a report detailing the assessment findings; and comply with its discharge permit and applicable law. It was also agreed that the Town will fund a $13,375 Supplemental Environmental Project.

Environmental Enforcement Officer: Gary Urich
Involved Program: Wastewater Management Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation
For Further Information please contact:
Attorney John Zaikowski at 802-241-3820 or email to john.zaikowski@state.vt.us

 

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