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 Newport Utilities, located at 465 Lesega Blvd, Newport, Tennessee 37821 for alleged violations of the CWA associated with the land application of sewage sludge.
Under Section 309(g) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g), the EPA is authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for various violations of the CWA. 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 II civil penalty pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g)(4)(A). Class II proceedings are conducted under the EPA’s Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. Part 22.
In this case, the EPA alleges that Respondent violated Section 405 of the CWA, Disposal or Use of Sewage Sludge, and regulations promulgated thereunder at 40 C.F.R. Part 503. Specifically, the EPA alleges that Respondent land applied sewage sludge between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017, that contained concentrations of Nickel in excess of the ceiling concentration permitted in Table 1 of 40 C.F.R. § 503.13. 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 $8,300 and complete a Supplemental Environmental Project at a cost of $60,000 that decommissions residential septic systems and connects residences to the City’s sewer line, on a voluntary basis by the property owner. 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 II order or participate in a Class II 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-07-2019-0185. For Technical questions contact Erin Kleffner, Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org, at the above mailing address or 913-551-7921. Persons with legal questions may contact Liz Huston, Office of Regional Counsel, at email@example.com, at the above mailing address or 913-551-7525. 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.
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division
U.S. EPA, Region 7