UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
In accordance with Section 309(g)(4)(A) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. 1319(g)(4)(A), and 40 C.F.R. § 22.45 of the Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits (“Consolidated Rules”), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is providing notice of a proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment against Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, a special district of Escambia County, Florida, treated as a municipality under the laws of the state of Florida, for alleged violations at the Central Water Reclamation Facility wastewater treatment plant (“WWTP”) located at 2980 Old Chemstrand Road, Cantonment, Florida 32533.
Under Section 309(g) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g), the EPA is authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for various violations of the Clean Water Act. The EPA may issue such orders after filing a Complaint commencing either a Class I or Class II penalty proceeding. The EPA provides notice of the proposed assessment of a Class I civil penalty pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g)(4)(A). Class I proceedings are conducted under the EPA’s Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. Part 22.
In this case, the EPA alleges that in March 2018 Respondent offered approximately 195 dry tons of Class A bulk sewage sludge for land application, through distribution and marketing as compost, that exceeded the limitation for Salmonella, sp. bacteria in violation of Section 405 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1345 and regulations at 40 C.F.R. § 503.15(a)(3). Respondent reports that upon identifying that the bacteria limit in the compost was exceeded, Respondent took immediate steps to cease distribution of the compost, notify consumers who had received the compost of the contamination, and recollect the compost from each consumer
Respondent has reached agreement with the EPA on the terms of a proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order which would resolve this matter. Under the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, Respondent will pay a civil penalty of $5,200. Final approval of the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order is subject to the requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 22.45.
The EPA will receive written comments on the proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice. All such comments shall be submitted to the Regional Hearing Clerk at the address provided below. The procedures by which the public may submit written comments on a proposed Class I order or participate in a Class I proceeding, and the procedures by which a respondent may request a hearing, are set forth in the Consolidated Rules. Persons wishing to obtain additional information on the proceeding, receive a copy of the EPA’s Consolidated Rules, review the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, comment upon the proposed penalty assessment, or otherwise participate in the proceeding should contact Regional Hearing Clerk, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Please reference Docket No. CWA-07-2019-0242. For Technical questions contact Seth Draper, Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org at the above mailing address or 913-551-7892. Persons with legal questions may contact Patricia Gillispie Miller, Office of Regional Counsel, at email@example.com, at the above mailing address or 913-551-7283. In order to provide opportunity for public comment, the EPA will issue no final order assessing a penalty in this proceeding prior to forty (40) days from the date of this notice.
|/s/ Wendy Lubbe for
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division
U.S. EPA, Region 7