EPA is issuing a notice of proposed action under the Clean Water Act. EPA is proposing to issue a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit renewal (No. AZ0022829) to Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians for the discharge of treated effluent from the Buena Vue Casino Wastewater Treatment Plant (“WWTP”) located in Ione, Amador County, California. The Buena Vue Casino which is now known as Harrah’s Northern California Casino began operation in April 2019 and has approximately 24,000 square feet of gaming, with 950 slot machines, 20 table games, and a restaurant steakhouse and a three-tiered food court.
The treatment plant receives domestic sewage from the casino for a design flow rate of 0.08 million gallons per day. Wastewater generated from the casino includes sewage, restaurant washwaters, and miscellaneous wastewater from guest support services. The WWTP does not serve residential connections nor accept wastewater from any industrial facilities. Effluent treatment is provided through an immersed membrane bioreactor (“MBR”) tertiary treatment system comprised of an anoxic tank section, an aeration tank section, and a pair of membrane sections, and fine screening and ultraviolet disinfection. Treated effluent is discharged at Outfall 001 via a constructed vegetated swale to a ditch which runs alongside Coal Mine Road and drains under the road via a culvert where it continues to a drainage ditch tributary to Jackson Creek, a tributary to Dry Creek and the lower Mokelumne River, all waters of the U.S. Outfall 001 is located at latitude 38° 16’ 23” North, longitude 120° 54’ 36” West in Amador County, California.
EPA is also soliciting comments regarding issuance of a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification for this permit. Under Section 401, a federal agency may not issue a permit that may result in any discharge into waters of the United States unless a state or authorized tribe where the discharge would originate issues a 401 certification verifying compliance with existing water quality requirements or waives the certification requirement. For permits on tribal lands, if a tribe does not have authority to issue a 401 certification, EPA makes the determination regarding the 401 certification. Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians does not have authority to issue 401 certifications. For additional information on 401 certification, see Overview of Certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
***Please bring the foregoing notice to the attention of all persons who would be interested in this matter. ***