Village and DEQ resolve wastewater violations

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, February 16, 2006

By Staff
LANSING - Department of Environmental Quality Director Steven E. Chester announced that on Feb. 13, the DEQ entered into a settlement agreement with the village of Cassopolis, located in Cass County, to resolve alleged civil violations of Michigan's water resource protection laws.
The alleged violations involved three sanitary sewer overflows from Cassopolis' wastewater collection system and five incidents wherein Cassopolis employees improperly disposed of untreated sanitary waste or wastewater to the ground from a vacuum truck. Following one of the SSOs, Cassopolis also failed to contact the local health department and local newspapers as required by law, the DEQ said.
"It is incumbent upon municipalities to have adequate oversight of their wastewater system operations to ensure the health of their residents is protected," said Director Chester. "I am pleased to see Cassopolis develop the necessary framework to ensure these violations do not occur in the future."
The settlement agreement requires payment of $15,500 for the civil fine and reimbursement of DEQ enforcement costs. During the negotiations of the settlement agreement, Cassopolis completed a compliance program to identify and correct potential deficiencies in its wastewater collection system. Cassopolis also developed and implemented a new operations and maintenance manual.