The cities of Yellville, Arkansas and Flippin, Arkansas have each been issued a Consent AdministrativeOrder (CAO) with the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment. The Flippin CAO was ordered October 4,2021, and the Yellville CAO on October 11, 2021.
At Flippin, where the treated wastewater is discharged into Fallen Ash Creek, the DEQ conducted a review of Sanitary Sewer Overflows(SSO’s) reported by the city in accordance with their permit for the period of April 1, 2018, through April 30, 2021. The review revealed sixty-eight (68)SSO’s. Each SSO is a discharge of untreated wastewater from its collection system and is a violation of the permit to discharge treated wastewater. The review also revealed, in the same time period, violations of the permitted effluent discharge limits that include: a. Eighty-four (84) violations of Ammonia Nitrogen; b. Thirty (30) violations of Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand; c. Two (2) violations of Total Suspended Solids; and d. One (1)violation of Fecal Coliform Bacteria. The city had failed to submit Non-compliance Reports in 2019, which is in and of itself a violation of the permit.
The City of Flippin and the DEQ have agreed upon a Corrective Action Plan with a final compliance date of November 30, 2022. A civil penalty of $3400.00 is to be dismissed if the city complies with the Order. Additional penalties will be assessed daily for failure to meet any requirements or deadlines.
At Yellville, where the treated wastewater is discharged into Crooked Creek, the DEQ conducted a review for the period January 1, 2019, through April 30, 2021. The city reported violations of the permitted effluent discharge limits that include: a.Eight (8) violations of Nitrite and Nitrate; b. Six (6) violations of FecalColiform Bacteria; and c. One (1) violation of Carbonaceous Oxygen Demand. A review of SSOs in the same period revealed seventy-two (72) SSO’s totaling two million eight hundred thirty-one thousand two hundred fifty-four (2, 831,254)gallons. Each SSO is a discharge of untreated wastewater from the collection system and is a separate violation of the permit to discharge treated wastewater.
The City of Yellville, according to the Order, shall submit a certification of compliance by May 31, 2024, that includes elimination of SSO’s, and maintaining employment of, at minimum, an active Class II Wastewater Operator License. A civil penalty of $3400.00 was reduced to $1700.00. Additional penalties can be assessed daily for failure to meet any requirements or deadlines.
These violations of permits by both cities are in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act, the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act, and rules issued by the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.