County put on noticeDNR cites violation of consent order
The Washington County Board of Supervisors received a letter from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources today that the county is in violation of the administrative consent order regarding wastewater violations in the cities of Richmond and Rubio.
The letter, written by DNR legal services bureau attorney Jon Tack, notified the county that the deadlines approved had passed and the terms of the consent order hadn’t been met. The letter also said the DNR is willing to accept an amendment as long as every resident identified in the earlier plans will be inspected and addressed by the modified plan.
During the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday morning, supervisor Jack Seward Jr. informed the board of the letter. Washington County Attorney Larry Brock said he had not seen the letter yet and was not aware of it until the meeting.
The letter reported that according to the order, Washington County, in conjunction with the Regional Utilities Service Systems (RUSS) was to let bids for sewer system projects by March 1, 2013. According to the letter, the construction “shall” be done by June 1, 2014.
The letter said that the county has not sought an amendment to the first order, nor had one been granted. It also said the DNR has the option of seeking civil penalties for the violations.
A plan Seward had given to the board, which the RUSS plan was removed in favor of, addressed about 40 homes that directly contributed to the contaminated samples. He believes the letter says the DNR wants all 96 homes to be included.
“We’ll go forward with the plan,” Seward said. “In the meantime, we will discuss with the DNR whether or not we can amend the consent order.”
The supervisors also discussed whether the time given the county to complete the project could be extended due to the amendment. Seward said he did not believe more time would be given.
Seward said he is working on a second letter outlining his plan that will go out to Richmond and Rubio residents next week. He said that he has received feedback saying that residents are in favor of the plan.