County has concerns over wastewater treatment plant

County has concerns over wastewater treatment plant

Source: LaGrange Daily News (GA), May 19, 2014
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County officials are concerned about a corporate-owned waste-water treatment facility seeking a five-year extension from the state.

County Manager Tod Tentler said the state Environmental Protection Division is about to consider a five-year renewal for a facility on Whitesville Road near Interstate 85 owned by Pilot Corporation. According to information from the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the treatment facility is a 100,000 gallons per day activated sludge package plant and permitted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to discharge up to 35,000 gallons per day of treated waste water into Long Cane Creek.

Tentler said that following public concerns raised about the state of the plant — nearby residents have raised concerns over untreated waste water overflowing into nearby Long Cane Creek during rains — county officials began checking into it. They discovered that EPD officials don’t let the county know when they are in town or inform the county of findings on any sites in the county.

Tentler said the company has recently done a lot of work out there, but there are still a lot of community concerns. The site is currently in the process of asking for a new permit for another five years through EPD. The current permit expires today and is open for public comment until June 4.

“We have 30 days to object or comment on the new five-year extension and I feel that we should do something, whether it is inspected on a regular basis if this five years is extended — they have to notify us and fix those problems immediately — and when … sewer gets to their business, they need to be required to tie into sewer and eventually maybe we can wane out this facility,” Tentler said.

Tentler said would send a message to the EPD that would state the county’s concerns and ask that it notify county officials when EPD officials are in Troup and any citations issued inside the county.

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper provided the following history of the plant:

1973: Plant was constructed.

1989: Raylar Corp. purchased the treatment plant. December 3 — EPD issued a compliance order and a fine for a major spill into waters of the state.

1994: November 28 — Raylar Corp. submitted a Remedial Action Proposal to (EPD) to repair the poorly maintained facility and reduce the plant capacity. The plant was designed to treat 100,000 GPD, but only had an inflow of 23,000 GPD, resulting poor biological treatment.

2001: July 19 — Raylar transferred ownership to Interstate Wastewater. August 8 — EPD issued a Consent Order for improper sludge handling among other maintenance violations.

2003: April 14 — NPDES permit was reissued to Interstate Wastewater.

July 15 — EPD issued Pilot a Notice of Violation (NOV) due to petroleum contamination in the emergency holding pond. The pond sludge tested positive for acetone, ethylbenxene toluene trimethyl benzenes and xylenes. Clean-up of this pond is ongoing.

December 18- There was a citizen complaint about a “highly dense release of chemicals in the air” from Pilot Travel Center. A follow-up inspection by EPD did not detect any odor, but it was determined that the odor was the result of pond remediation as required by the July 15 NOV.

December 27 -Another citizen logged a complaint about odors at the plant. EPD inspected the plant in response and noted evidence of waste water around an abandoned lift station3 as well as waste water and solids on the ground adjacent to the waste-water basins.

2014: January 8 — EPD issued a Notice of Violation for the spill evidence in December. EPD requested that Pilot remove all solids and soils associated with the spill, provide proof of proper disposal of solid waste, apply hydrated lime to affected areas to reduce odors and submit a corrective action plan stating how this will be prevented from occurring in the future.

February 11 — Pilot submitted a Corrective Action Plan to EPD in response to the NOV. Pilot plans to plug the line to the lift station where the spill occurred, permanently abandoning it. They also applied lime to reduce odors, removed the soil affected by the spill and dressed the area with seed and straw.

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