POTTSTOWN, Penn. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the U.S. and the state of Pennsylvania have settled a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Borough of Pottstown.
In a proposed consent decree, filed on February 19, 1998 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pottstown has agreed to pay a $16,500 penalty and complete a $58,000 study of the Schuylkill River watershed.
Under its state-issued Clean Water Act permit, Pottstown's wastewater treatment plant is allowed to discharge 15.6 million gallons of treated wastewater into the Schuylkill River daily.
The lawsuit alleged that the Montgomery County plant discharged excess levels of total suspended solids, five-day measure of carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, alkaline wastewater, dissolved oxygen, zinc and phenol, and also violated the reporting requirements of its permit from 1988 through 1993. Pottstown's water monitoring reports show that the plant has complied with its permit discharge limits since May 1995.
In addition to the civil penalty, Pottstown has agreed to carry out a two-year watershed assessment program, which will include water quality monitoring of the plant's water discharge; the Schuylkill River, upstream and downstream of the plant; and Manatawney Creek. As part of the study. Pottstown will test for 21 pollutants, including ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorous, fecal coliform, and heavy metals.
The information gathered by this project will help Pottstown, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the EPA to determine the impact of urban runoff and pollution discharge on the Schuylkill Watershed.
"We're gratified with Pottstown's progress in fighting water pollution. We're especially pleased that the borough is now working with PaDEP and EPA to ensure the long-term health of this vital watershed," said EPA Regional Administrator W. MichaeI McCabe.
The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
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