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EPA, City of Leavenworth, Kan., Reach Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations

Feb 24, 2016

 Contact Information: Angela Brees, 913-551-7940, [email protected]

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Environmental News

 

(Lenexa, Kan., February 24, 2016) – EPA Region 7 reached an administrative settlement with the City of Leavenworth, Kan., that requires the city to develop a plan to eliminate unlawful sewer overflows, and to resolve municipal stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. As part of the settlement, the city is also required to pay a cash penalty of $46,200, and implement a Supplemental Environmental Project.

EPA investigations in November and December 2013 found unauthorized sewer overflows to local waterways and failure by the city to effectively implement a comprehensive stormwater management program plan as required by its municipal separate storm sewer system permit.

To resolve the violations, under separate compliance orders with EPA, the city will develop and implement a stormwater management program plan to reduce pollution into urban stormwater to the maximum extent practicable by December 2016. Another compliance order requires the city to prevent and eliminate unlawful sewer overflows by December 2020.

In addition to the $46,200 penalty, the city will complete a Supplemental Environmental Project to implement water quality upgrades as an expansion of its storm sewer project. The project is estimated to cost approximately $38,800, and will be designed to reduce erosion and pollutants, and capture and filter runoff from adjacent roadways prior to its discharge into the stream.

Municipalities play a key role in protecting local waterways by preventing stormwater from washing harmful pollutants into streams and rivers. Effective municipal stormwater programs inform and involve the public in stormwater pollution prevention efforts, and prohibit illegal discharges of pollutants in stormwater.

Urbanized areas contain large portions of impervious surfaces such as roads, rooftops and parking lots that channel stormwater directly into local streams, rivers, and other water bodies. Improperly managed stormwater runoff from urbanized areas can damage streams, cause significant erosion, and carry excessive nutrients, sediment, toxic metals, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants downstream.

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Diverting offsite runoff around a disturbed area reduces the amount of stormwater which comes into contact with the exposed soils. If there is less runoff coming in contact with exposed soil, then there will be less erosion of the soil and less stormwater which has to be treated to remove sediment.


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