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Latest summary of EPA actions to ensure safe drinking water in Wyoming

Release Date: 10/20/2009
Contact Information: Lisa Kahn, 303-312-6896,

(Denver, Colo. – October 20, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 issued 4 emergency administrative orders and 15 administrative orders, and settled 4 penalty actions against public water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in Wyoming and in Indian country in Wyoming from April 1 through September 30, 2009.

EPA issues an emergency order when there is a potential for imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, such as when contaminants have been identified in a public water system or when the public water system has experienced a disruption in the system that may endanger public health.

On August 18, 2009, EPA Region 8 issued an emergency administrative order against Bighorn National Forest’s Burgess Junction Visitor center in Sheridan County, Wyo., after the presence of E. coli bacteria was found in a water sample, constituting an acute violation of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for bacteria. Additional emergency administrative orders were issued on July 21, 2009, to Medicine Bow Lodge in Carbon County and on August 18, 2009 to Y-O Ranch Estates in Wheatland following similar acute violations of the MCL for bacteria. In each case, the systems are making improvements to their treatment and/or operational processes to prevent future violations. EPA continues to monitor each system for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Separately, on April 10, 2009, Skyline Village Motor Home Park of Rock Springs was issued an emergency administrative order after the presence of E. coli was found in a water sample. On September 21, 2009, EPA closed the order based upon the system’s full compliance and completion of its planned actions that ensure compliance with bacterial MCL requirements.

EPA issues an administrative order when a public water system violates the Safe Drinking Water Act and its regulations. An administrative order requires the public water system to comply with the drinking water regulations that it violated and includes action items for returning to compliance.

EPA issued administrative orders to the following public water systems:

Arlington Outpost, Arlington
Country Meadow Estates, Laramie
Elk Refuge Inn, Jackson
Farson MHC, Farson
Fort Laramie, Town of
Jackson Hole Airport, Jackson
Lewis Mobile Home Park, Rock Springs
Mountain View Estates, Cheyenne
Mountain Village Park, Big Piney
Rock River, Town of
Snake River Mobile Home Park, Jackson
Southside Well Improvement Service and District, Gillette
Turnerville Water and Sewer, Bedford
Wagonbox RV Park, Story
Wrangler Estates, Gillette

EPA issues a complaint for penalty when a public water system violates an administrative order. The penalty amount is based on a combination of the seriousness of the violations and the size of the population at risk, among other factors. EPA settled 4 penalty actions with the following public water systems, with the penalty amount noted:

Buckhorn Bar, Newcastle
Penalty Amount: $1,303.21

Elk Refuge Inn, Jackson
Penalty Amount: $1,000.00

Six K, Inc., Laramie
Penalty Amount: $1,202.96

Ethete Public Water System, Ethete, Wind River Reservation
Penalty Amount: $12,750

EPA Region 8 directly implements the drinking water program throughout Indian country in the Region and in Wyoming and also oversees the protection of public health and the environment under the Safe Drinking Water Act in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.