Randolph pays for discharge violations
RANDOLPH — The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division has settled environmental violations by the Randolph wastewater treatment plant.
The town has agreed to pay a $28,175 penalty and contribute an additional $28,175 to a supplemental environmental project. The town has also agreed to retain an independent consultant to evaluate current operations of the facility, prepare a procedure to address any inadequacies, and submit the evaluation and procedure to the state for review and approval.
According to the department, officials received an anonymous complaint in November 2012 of material being discharged from Randolph’s wastewater treatment facility into the Third Branch of the White River. Agency personnel immediately responded to the complaint and saw toilet paper, human waste and grease coming from the facility’s outflow pipe.
A follow-up investigation revealed that one of the facility’s two aerators was inoperable, and that earlier in November both of the facility’s aerators had been inoperable for more than seven days, according to the department. The breakdown of the aerators, a result of operator error, was not reported to the state as required by the issued discharge permit.
Officials said the investigation also revealed numerous operation and maintenance violations due to operator error, effluent limit violations, a failure to notify the state of noncompliance, and late submission of monthly reports.
The town’s chief operator resigned and left the state during the investigation. The town hired an interim operator and later a new permanent operator and addressed the maintenance and operational deficiencies identified during the investigation. The plant has since been operating in compliance with the issued permit.
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