City to Pay Mississippi $50,000 Penalty for Wastewater Violations

Jan. 29, 2007

The city of McComb, Miss. will pay a penalty of $50,000 to the state of Mississippi for violations at the east wastewater treatment plant. The settlement will be reviewed by the Gulf Restoration Network, the organization that filed its intent to sue the city over excessive pollution charges. The Louisiana-based Gulf Restoration Network has 30 days to review the settlement.

The Sun Herald reported that the deal was announced last week by the city and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The city will pay $50,000 in cash, while $150,000 will remain suspended if McComb complies with ordered deadlines.

In order to avoid future problems, the city will build a new wastewater treatment plant, estimated to cost at least $20 million.

The city has been operating with an MDEQ variance since 2005, but the Sun Herald reports that those limits expired on Dec. 31.

The east plant, built around 1959, is being accused of polluting Town Creek, a tributary of the Little Tangipahoa River. The east plant is also in violation of the discharge limits for levels of copper, chlorine and fecal coliform, in addition to suspended solids.

Jerry Cain, with the MDEQ's Office of Pollution Control, told the Sun Herald that the agreement would not prohibit GRN from filing suit.

GRN currently has concerns about interim permit limit violations and the length of time included in the settlement schedule for work to be completed.

Source: The Sun Herald

Image by Burnham RNG, courtesy twentytwo & brand.