City faces $378K in wastewater fines

The city of Atlanta might pay $378,136 to the state to settle allegations of environmental violations over its handling of wastewater from January 2009 through August 2015.

The City Council Utilities Committee agenda for Tuesday has a resolution authorizing Mayor Kasim Reed to make the payment under a consent order with the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The resolution says that by making the payment, the city neither agrees to any violation nor admits liability.

EPD and Atlanta Department of the Watershed Management documents cite 34 unpermitted discharges in the millions of gallons – the worst being a mechanical malfunction Jan. 11, 2014, that led to 111.7 million gallons released from the West Area Combined Sewer Overflow Water Quality Control Facility.

Another incident, from Oct. 20, 2011, involved a bisulfite spill at the Intrenchment Creek Water Quality Control Facility in southeast Atlanta that killed an estimated 1,226 fish and affected 0.7 miles of stream.

The resolution also cites 131 effluent limit violations, 37 permit violations and 15 major outfall spills.

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