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Thursday, December 9, 2010

DEP, Liberty Area Municipal Authority to Correct Sewage Plant Discharges,

DEP, Liberty Area Municipal Authority to Correct Sewage Plant Discharges, Pay $6,600 Civil Penalty for Past Violations

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that the Liberty Area Municipal Authority in Tioga County will correct sewage treatment plant discharge violations that have been occurring since 2008, which will improve the water quality of nearby Blockhouse Creek.

“This agreement will ensure that Liberty will make the proper improvements to its treatment plant in a timely manner,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber. “We are pleased with the authority’s cooperation and willingness to move forward.”

The authority’s treatment plant discharges to Blockhouse Creek and had committed 32 violations between March 2008 and June 2010. Most of the violations stemmed from excessive ammonia levels, but also included improper levels of pH, total suspended solids and fecal coliform bacteria.

Under Liberty Area’s agreement with DEP, the authority must begin an engineering evaluation within 30 days to determine the most cost-effective method of resolving the violations. It must submit the completed evaluation and an implementation schedule to DEP within 90 days.

“When DEP originally permitted this facility in 2005, the treatment plant was to include a 75,000-gallon septic tank and a polishing filter, but these were never installed,” said Taber. “The engineering evaluation will determine if installing these units will eliminate future discharge violations.”

Liberty Area also paid a $6,600 civil penalty for past violations. The fine was paid to the Clean Water Fund, which helps to finance cleanups across the state.

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