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The City of Driggs, Idaho agrees to settle with EPA for Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 05/16/2006
Contact Information: Jamie Sikorski, (206) 553-5153, Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203,

(Driggs, ID – May 16, 2006) The City of Driggs has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The City has agreed to pay a $4,000 penalty.

The NPDES permit program, established under the Clean Water Act, controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. 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’s case, the City had received several written warnings, during the past several years. The City’s plant discharges wastewater into a drainage ditch that flows into Woods Creek, a tributary to the Teton River. The settlement with the City covers 1,459 violations including exceedances of permit limits for biological oxygen demand, total suspended solids; fecal coli form bacteria, and E. coli bacteria. The City of Driggs wastewater treatment plant serves a population of approximately 1,100.

According to Jim Werntz, EPA’s Idaho Operations Office Director, "We appreciate that many small communities are in a tough financial position. But with wastewater discharge permits comes a responsibility to comply with their conditions."

Kim Ogle, Manager of EPA’s Northwest Regional Offices NPDES Compliance Unit noted that when contemplating possible penalty scenarios’ “EPA takes into account the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the alleged violations as well as Driggs’ economic benefit of noncompliance, ability to pay and other relevant factors. Also coming into play are ‘good faith efforts to comply.’”

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