Juneau to pay $30,000 fine for EPA violations

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The city has agreed to pay $30,000 and make drainage improvements to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about a raw sewage leak, a city official said.

The city was originally fined $60,000 after the Mendenhall Wastewater Treatment Plant discharged sewage into houses, a parking lot and a drainage ditch in August 1999. The EPA cited the city for violating the Clean Water Act and its own permit limits on fecal coliform.

In the fall of 1999, raw sewage from the treatment plant flooded the drains and toilets of eight homes and manholes near Airport Boulevard.

The city has since spent more than $1 million on improvements at the plant and has taken safeguards to ensure the mishap is not repeated, city documents showed.

Juneau City Manager Dave Palmer said he signed the agreement with the EPA this week. It does not become final until the agency approves it.

As part of the agreement, the city will also replace pipes running under Mendenhall Boulevard to improve fish passage, Palmer said. The project will cost about $60,000.

''We have a policy that allows us to reduce penalties if the party signing the agreement agrees to do a supplemental environmental project,'' said EPA compliance officer Kristine Karlson.

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