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EPA Proposes Penalties of $60,000 and Orders PRASA To Stop Release of Floatable Wastes From Its Carolina Sewage Treatment Plant

Release Date: 03/25/1998
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(#98023) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority ("PRASA") has been ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make immediate repairs to stop the release of grease and floatable materials into nearby coastal waters and to address improper operation and maintenance practices at its Carolina Sewage Treatment Plant located in Loiza, Puerto Rico. The discharges are in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. The Agency has also issued PRASA a proposed penalty of $60,000 for these violations.

"There are some fundamental operation and maintenance practices that are not being followed at this plant." said EPA Region 2 Administrator, Jeanne M. Fox. "The surrounding community and environment should not have to live with unpleasant and potentially unhealthy conditions. EPA is committed to ensuring that PRASA corrects the problem immediately."

The Order requires PRASA to immediately return the grit removal facilities to operation and carry out all the proper operation and maintenance procedures at the Carolina plant. Within 45 days, PRASA must also complete all necessary repairs to achieve full compliance with discharge limits, including limits for oil and grease and floatable solids.

EPA recently issued a separate order to PRASA to immediately stop all unauthorized discharges of raw sewage from a bypass line near the entrance of its Villa Carolina Ejector Station (a tributary station to the Carolina Sewage Treatment Plant) and required PRASA to institute an immediate ban on new connections to sewers in the ejector station's service area. In addition, EPA issued a proposed penalty of $137,000 to PRASA for the illegal discharge of raw sewage from the Villa Carolina Ejector Station.

For more information contact:
Carl Soderberg
EPA Caribbean Environmental Protection Division
1492 Ponce De Leon Avenue
Santurce, PR 00909
Voice: 787-729-6951 FAX: 787-729-7747 E-Mail: