EPA, Las Vegas reach Clean Water Act compliance settlement

July 3, 2023
After alleged non-compliance, the city has agreed to submit a new Local Limits study and a revised sewer use ordinance to EPA for review by December 31.

The U.S. EPA has announced a settlement with the City of Las Vegas for the city’s alleged non-compliance with its Clean Water Act pretreatment program.

Las Vegas operates the Las Vegas Water Pollution Control Facility and the Durango Hills Water Resource Center, which discharge treated wastewater into the Las Vegas Wash, which feeds into Lake Mead.

During an October 2022 pretreatment compliance inspection, EPA says it found that the city’s pretreatment program was not as stringent as the federal regulations of the Clean Water Act. The city has agreed to rectify non-compliance with federal regulations, including submitting a new Local Limits study and a revised sewer use ordinance to EPA for review by December 31, 2023.

“EPA is partnering with the City of Las Vegas to ensure wastewater discharges meet the highest standards,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “Through this order, EPA is working with the local community to protect Lake Mead and the Las Vegas Wash.”

In an administrative order on consent (AOC) issued June 9, 2023, EPA states that this facility did not rectify legal authority violations of CWA pretreatment regulations, that were first identified in a 2017 pretreatment compliance audit. Further, the city is required to revise its local limits and industrial user wastewater discharge permits.