“It is important to note that public health was protected and DWM (Department of Watershed Management) staff completed the required response and cleanup activities as specified by state and federal laws,” the county said in a statement.
Lambert, who was the county’s interim watershed director until a permanent department head was hired last year, said the county responded to and reported on two spills at the residence.
“We report what we see. If we don’t witness it, we can’t report it,” Lambert said. “It seems like they’re out to get me.”
Sewer overflows are defined as discharges that include spills into waterways, indoor backups and outdoor releases.
Several years ago, DeKalb County entered into an agreement with the federal government to upgrade its wastewater systems, part of $1.35 billion in infrastructure improvements. The agreement included stringent sewage overflow reporting requirements.
Department of Watershed Management Director Scott Towler wrote in Lambert’s termination letter that he showed “substandard work quality” that put the county out of compliance with the agreement.
DeKalb could face penalties for failure to comply with reporting requirements, Towler wrote.
Lambert is appealing his termination.