Idaho cities of Winchester, Craigmont pay Clean Water Act penalties for violations at wastewater treatment plants
Each city agreed to pay $15,000 penalty
(Seattle – October 5, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the cities of Winchester and Craigmont, Idaho have agreed to each pay a $15,000 penalty for hundreds of Clean Water Act violations at the cities’ wastewater treatment plants. Winchester’s plant discharges treated wastewater into Lapwai Creek and Craigmont’s plant discharges into John Dobb Creek.
During inspections in August 2019 and following a review of each treatment plants’ records, EPA found the cities regularly discharged wastewater into the creeks in excess of permit limits. Winchester also failed to maintain a quality assurance plan for all monitoring required in its permit.
“Operators of these plants must ensure compliance with their permits because excess amounts of pollutants can harm people and aquatic life,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Here in the West, the water bodies that receive these discharges are already at risk from climate change and drought, so compliance with permits is particularly important to communities, and thus to the EPA.”
In addition to each city paying the $15,000 penalty, both cities agreed to develop and implement a Facility Plan that will describe the specific actions, upgrades, and remedial measures to achieve and maintain compliance with the effluent limitations and requirements of their Clean Water Act permits. Craigmont also agreed to implement interim measures to achieve compliance with the chlorine limits in its permit until construction and implementation of the Facility Plan is complete. Winchester must complete implementation of its Facility Plan by April 30, 2025 and Craigmont must complete implementation of its Facility Plan by June 1, 2025.
For more details about these settlements, visit:
This settlement furthers EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to improve surface water quality by assuring dischargers comply with their Clean Water Act permits.