City flagged

Alexis Barker, News Edtior

EPA issues notice of violation


The city’s public works department is taking steps to return to EPA compliance after receiving notice that they failed to meet new reporting requirements for the city’s water system last year.


Newcastle has received a Notice of Violation from the Environmental Protection Agency, a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act 40 C.F.R. 141.24 of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, according to Public Works Supervisor Greg Stumpff. 


“To explain, each year in February, we receive a list from Region 8 EPA called the Monitoring and Reporting Requirements. … In the past years, we were required to collect one set of Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOC) from each entry point to the distribution systems, which means from each of our four wells every three years,” Stumpff said in an email. “This last round of SOC sampling requirements, Region 8 EPA changes our requirement to collect SOC samples two times in the same year in two different quarters. We did not collect the second set of samples within the required time period.” 


Stumpff said he had assumed the requirements were the same, and that the violation is the result of his mistake. 


Synthetic organic compounds, he explained, are man-made organic compounds that are less volatile, or less likely to escape into the atmosphere, when compared with the volatile organic compounds and other organic compounds that are normally not present in drinking water naturally. Stumpff noted that most are represented as a “combination of herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and/or fungicides that can be commonly found in agriculture areas, urban settings and industrial runoff or associated with runoff and wastewater discharges from domestic wastewater treatment facilities and non-point-source pollution and are commonly used in industrial and manufacturing processes.” 


“We are working to meet compliance. There are three requirements to meet compliance,” he said. 


The first is to collect the required samples, the second is to report to Region 8 EPA, and the third is to complete the public notice for failure to monitor for the synthetic organic compounds. 


The public notice, he said, is a document explaining the violation. Stumpff noted that the city is allowed to add this public notice as an addendum to the city’s Consumer Confidence Report, which is a yearly requirement. 


“After receiving the NOV, we immediately collected the required samples and reported the results to Region 8 EPA. … The city chose to add it to the CCR and mail both to each customer. We will be sending out the CCR and PN to customers this week, which will be the last requirement for the NOV,” Stumpff said. “We have also set electronic reminders to collect the proper number of samples and sample early in the monitoring period, and have more than myself review the Monitoring and Reporting Requirements.” 


Regulated synthetic organic compounds include: 


Alachlor, Aldrin, Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Atrazine, Benzo(a)pyrene, bis(2-ethylhexyl)Adipate, bis(2 ethylhexyl)Phthalate, Butachlor, Chlordane, Dieldrin, Endrin, gamma-BHC (Lindane), Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Methoxychlor, Metribuzin, Propachlor, Simazine, Toxaphene, PCBs Total, Endothall, Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Carbaryl, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Carbofuran, Methiocarb, Methomyl, Oxamyl, Baygon, 1.2.3-Trichloropropane, 1.2-Dibromo-3 chloropropane, 1.2-Dibromoethane, Glyphosate, Diquat, 2,4.5-TP(Silvex), 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, Dalapon, Dicamba, Dichlorprop, Dinosep, Pentachlorophenol, and Picloram.


Source: Newcastle Public Works Supervisor

Greg Stumpff


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