North Las Vegas studies settlement over sewer program

North Las Vegas could agree to pay $385,000 in fines and place itself under a federal consent decree for failing to develop, fund and implement a sewer pre-treatment plan for the city’s Utilities Department.

The City Council on Wednesday will decide whether to approve the terms of a settlement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Nevada’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

City officials were quick to point out that the issue was related to record keeping, not a failure to provide clean water. Also, North Las Vegas never had an industrial pre-treatment violation related to its state permit, city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said.

“The consent decree is based on a years-old paperwork deficiency,” Goldberg said. “There was never any impact to human health, water, wildlife or land.”

In 2014, state and federal inspectors found that North Las Vegas did not have a pre-treatment plan for a wastewater plant and collection system that the city has owned and operated for more than six years.

That failure was a violation of a state wastewater permit and the federal Clean Water Act, EPA spokeswoman Margot Perez-Sullivan said.

“From the moment city officials were made aware of these paperwork concerns, the city has been fully compliant and cooperative with the EPA and, more importantly, proactive in managing its water pre-treatment programs,” Goldberg said.

Under the settlement, the city’s utilities fund would pay $192,500 apiece to the United States and Nevada’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The city will be required to submit reports every six months to provide a status of its industrial pre-treatment program where it must list any violations.

The city may ask for the consent decree to be lifted after two years of maintaining “satisfactory compliance,” according to the settlement.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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