News Releases from Region 09
EPA, Nevada require North Las Vegas to protect local waters
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) have reached an agreement with the City of North Las Vegas to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations in its pretreatment program. The agreement requires the City to establish pretreatment requirements for industrial pollutants to better protect downstream waters.
EPA and NDEP discovered the violations of the City’s wastewater permit during a 2014 inspection and issued an administrative order to put the City on a path to compliance. The City will comply with the requirements in its Clean Water Act permit and EPA’s general pretreatment regulations. The North Las Vegas wastewater treatment plant discharges into the Las Vegas Wash, which flows into Lake Mead.
“Pretreatment of industrial wastewater protects the City’s infrastructure and downstream waters,” said Patrick Traylor, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Under the agreement, the Las Vegas Wash and Lake Mead will benefit from this investment in clean water.”
“Water is among Nevada’s most precious resources, which my office has a long history of fighting to protect,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. “Ensuring the proper treatment of waste water that flows to Southern Nevada’s drinking supply is a paramount concern. This consent decree demonstrates my commitment to work with the EPA and the City of North Las Vegas to ensure protection of our water quality.”
“Compliance with industrial wastewater pretreatment program requirements is critical to protect human health and the environment,” said Greg Lovato, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. “The NDEP will continue to assist the City of North Vegas in their implementation of a comprehensive program.”
The agreement resolves a Clean Water Act case which identified deficiencies in the City’s wastewater system that left its treatment plant vulnerable to toxic pollutants from industrial wastewater discharges. Without industrial pretreatment requirements, industrial pollutants can disrupt the function of a treatment plant or pass through it untreated, putting plant workers at risk and harming nearby waterways.
Under the proposed agreement, North Las Vegas will develop, fund and implement an industrial pretreatment program. Locally administered pretreatment requirements and inspections are the first and best line of defense against industrial pollutants that may contaminate sewage sludge, interfere with treatment and expose communities to potential hazards.
As part of the proposed settlement, North Las Vegas will pay a penalty of $192,500 each to the State of Nevada and the federal government.
The consent decree for this settlement was lodged in the federal district court by the U.S. Department of Justice and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. A copy of the decree will be available on the Department of Justice website at: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees
For more information on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/npdes