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EPA acts to ensure safe drinking water for Wyoming residents

Release Date: 09/05/2006
Contact Information: Michael Risner 303-312-6890, Diane Sipe 303 312-6391,

Summary of actions so far this year

    DENVER, Colo., Sept. 5, 2006 -- During the first six months of 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 issued one emergency administrative order, two penalty complaints and 12 administrative orders in the State of Wyoming.

    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 March 30, EPA Region 8 issued an Emergency Administrative Order against Camp Creek Inn, Jackson, Wyo.

    The order was based on a potential imminent and substantial endangerment to human health resulting from five samples collected on March 28, 2006 and four samples collected on March 29, 2006 that tested positive for E. coli bacteria. E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes.

    Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms, with young children, the elderly, and people whose health is weakened, such as people who have long-term illnesses such as cancer or AIDS, and are at greater risk of severe illness.

    EPA ordered Camp Creek Inn to conduct the following actions to ensure that the people served by the water supply were provided with safe drinking water: (1) provide an alternative source of potable water; (2) submit a detailed plan to EPA for bringing the public water system into compliance; (3) conduct increased monitoring for total coliform; and (4) provide public notice, including an advisory for the water users to boil the water at least three minutes.

    EPA approved Camp Creek Inn’s plan, and Camp Creek Inn fixed the problem by making improvements to the well and installing ultra violet light disinfection. Recent total coliform bacteria monitoring showed the system to be free of E. coli contamination. EPA continues to monitor the public water system for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    EPA issues an administrative order when a public water system violates the SDWA 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:

    Bighorn National Forest – Shell Falls Interpretive Site, Sheridan County, WY
    Bighorn National Forest – Tie Hack Campground, Johnson County, WY
    Brooks Lake Lodge, Fremont County, WY
    Cheyenne Shrine Club, Cheyenne, WY
    City of Buffalo, Buffalo, WY
    Elk Refuge Inn, Jackson, WY
    Grand Teton Park Resort, Moran, WY
    Meadowlark Lake Lodge, Big Horn County, WY
    Mountain Village Park, Sublette County, WY
    Town of Pine Bluffs, Pine Bluffs, WY
    White Pine Ski Area, Sublette County, WY

    EPA issues a complaint for penalty when a public water system violates an administrative order. EPA may settle a complaint for penalty for a monetary payment, the amount of which is based on the seriousness of the violations and the size of the population at risk, among other factors. EPA settled two complaints for penalty with the following public water systems with the penalty amount noted:

    Blackwater Lodge, Inc., Park County, WY
    Penalty Amount: $1,800.00

    City of Torrington, Goshen County, WY
    Penalty Amount: $4,500.00

    SDWA establishes specific regulations to assure the safety of public drinking water. In the State of Wyoming, EPA directly implements the SDWA and issues enforcement actions to public water systems that fail to comply with the SDWA and its regulations.

    EPA oversees the protection of public health and the environment in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Compliance and enforcement are important components of public health and environmental protection which encourage governments, businesses and other regulated entities to meet their environmental and public health obligations.
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