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December 29, 2013

Town of Plattsburgh adopts wastewater plan

PLATTSBURGH — The Town of Plattsburgh has passed a enforcement response plan for industrial wastewater customers.

Town Water and Wastewater Department Director Scott Stoddard said it mirrors the one in place in the City of Plattsburgh because town wastewater is sent to the city wastewater treatment plant. He collaborated with city employees and the State Department of Environmental conservation in drafting the plan.

The town needs to be able to ensure that industrial users are in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for pre-treatment of industrial wastewater before it is discharged to the town and then the city wastewater system.

Responses will be based on a  number of factors, including good faith of the user, the user’s compliance history, the success or failure of previous enforcement actions, the effect of the violation on other wastewater and on a publicly owned treatment plant.

CONSISTENCY

The plan outlines possible violations, such as unpermitted discharge, a discharge limit violation and monitoring and/or reporting violations. It also describes what should be done by whom for each type of violation and outlines time frames for responses by the user. 

“If we do need to act, it’s nice to be able to do it consistently,” Stoddard said.

Penalties are covered in the Town of Plattsburgh Sewer Law.

At this time, the plan applies to the Schonbek Worldwide Lighting division of Swarovski and the co-generation plant operated by Saranac Power Partners. The former is included because it performs metal finishing operations, while the latter is because it is involved in power generation.

Stoddard said there have been no significant incidents associated with either place in the past.

“Both have been very good to work with,” he said.

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the plan is part of the town’s efforts to put more of its policies and procedures in writing. It could be a valuable tool, he said, for future commercial and industrial users to ensure they are in compliance with existing regulations. 

The emergency response plan, water law and sewer law are available at www.townofplattsburgh.com under the Water and Wastewater Department link.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

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