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EPA fines North Dakota town over chlorine handling at water treatment plant

EPA fines North Dakota town over chlorine handling at water treatment plant
EPA fines North Dakota town over chlorine handling at water treatment plant

The Jamestown, North Dakota Finance and Legal Committee recently agreed to pay a fine of $2,080 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over violations related to the handling of chlorine at a water treatment plant.

Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer, said at the regular meeting for the Finance and Legal Committee that the violations were mostly administrative issues at the water treatment plant, according to the Jamestown Sun.

"There were no spillage and it mostly deals with administrative procedures," Schwartzkopf explained. "Mostly it dealt with the emergency operations plan and how much chlorine we had on hand and how it was handled."

According to the city engineer, the initial fine of $5,000 was lowered in a new filing from the EPA, adding that the agency's initial audit that uncovered the violations took place in the spring.

The fine levied against the city of Jamestown was the latest in a number of similar water contamination violations that have taken place across the country. In Keokuk, Iowa, the operator of a grain processing plant was recently ordered to pay a $4.1 million penalty over allegations that it illegally dumped industrial waste into the Mississippi River.

According to The Associated Press, the complaint from the EPA and the Justice Department claimed that Roquette America Inc. violated the Clean Water Act on a number of occasions in terms of the amount of pollution it was allowed to release into the environment. The company is accused of committing more than 1,000 violations related to wastewater and EPA maintenance compliance over the past several years.

"This settlement holds Roquette accountable for its multiple violations of the nation's Clean Water Act and requires sewer improvements, wastewater treatment upgrades, enhanced monitoring and independent compliance audits that will benefit public health and the environment for the people of Iowa for years to come," Ignacia Moreno, assistant acting attorney general of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a statement. 

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