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EPA Denies PRASA's Request To Increase Sewage Flow To Palmer

Release Date: 08/06/1997
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(#97104) San Juan, P.R. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today denied the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority's (PRASA) request to increase the daily flow from its Palmer Sewage Treatment Plant in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico from 250,000 gallons to 1.25 million gallons. The plant is permitted to discharge into the Mameyes River. EPA denied the request for a permit modification because the plant has not consistently complied with the limits on discharging pollutants set in its current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES).

"We are taking this action to protect the water quality in the Mameyes River," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "Palmer has not been able to comply with its permit while discharging 250,000 gallons of sewage per day, and EPA is certainly not convinced that it could meet the discharge limits with a five-fold increase in its flow."

In March 1996, EPA issued a public notice for the proposed NPDES permit modification for Palmer based on PRASA's request for modification. The Agency took public comments and also held a hearing on the permit modification request on August 1, 1996 because of the very high degree of public interest in the request to increase flow at Palmer. "EPA listened," Ms. Fox added. "The Agency took the many comments that it received from the public into consideration in making its final decision."

In September 1996, EPA issued an Order to PRASA requiring it to bring the Palmer facility into compliance with its NPDES permit. In response to the Order, PRASA has diverted its wastewater to another wastewater treatment plant and no longer discharges from the Palmer facility.

For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: