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Gooding Wastewater Treatment Plant Nets $7500 EPA Penalty for Numerous Discharge Permit Violations

Release Date: 7/19/2005
Contact Information: David Domingo
(206) 553-0531

July 19, 2005

    The municipal wastewater treatment plant in Gooding, Idaho, has reached a $7500 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violations of their Clean Water Act Permit. Known as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, these discharge permits are part of the backbone of the nation’s system to protect rivers and lakes from city and industrial pollution.

    EPA is focusing attention on priority watersheds where facilities are discharging wastewater to rivers and streams that are already at their limits to receive certain pollutants. In the City of Gooding’s case, the facility received several warnings, both written and verbal, during the past several years.

    Violations at the plants routinely exceeded their permit limits for chlorine, biological oxygen demand (BOD), fecal coliform, and ammonia. High-levels of these pollutants can harm or kill aquatic life, and can make people ill if polluted water is ingested.

    According to Jim Werntz, EPA’s Idaho Operations Office Director, “small communities have a responsibility to manage their wastewater treatment systems so that rivers and streams are protected from pollution.” He added, “This is especially important when the plants discharge into rivers that are already degraded by pollution caused by upstream users.”

    City of Gooding 521 violations (Penalty $7,500)
    • The City of Gooding’s wastewater treatment facility serves a population of approximately 3,384 and discharges effluent to the Little Wood River.
    • The State of Idaho determined that portion of the river does not meet state water quality standards for bacteria, nutrients and temperature.

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