Idaho cities

Idaho cities of Winchester and Craigmont pay Clean Water Act penalties for violations at wastewater treatment plants

Region 10 press releases

Each city agreed to pay a fine of $ 15,000

(Seattle – October 5, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the cities of Winchester and Craigmont, Idaho, have each agreed to pay a fine of $ 15,000 for hundreds of ‘Clean Water Act violations in city wastewater treatment plants. The Winchester Mill discharges treated wastewater into Lapwai Creek and the Craigmont Mill discharges into John Dobb Creek.

During inspections in August 2019 and following a review of records from each treatment plant, the EPA found that cities routinely dump sewage into streams in excess of allowable limits. Winchester also failed to maintain a quality assurance plan for all the checks required in its license.

“Operators of these plants must ensure compliance with their permits as excessive amounts of pollutants can harm people and aquatic life,” said Ed Kowalski, director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division of the EPA Region 10. . “Here in the West, the water bodies that receive these discharges are already threatened by climate change and drought, so compliance with permits is especially important for communities, and therefore for the EPA.”

In addition to each city paying the penalty of $ 15,000, the two cities have agreed to develop and implement an installation plan that will outline specific actions, upgrades and corrective measures to achieve and maintain compliance with the effluent limits and requirements of their Clean Water Act permits. Craigmont has also agreed to implement interim measures to comply with the chlorine limits in its license until construction and implementation of the installation plan are complete. Winchester is to complete the implementation of its installation plan by April 30, 2025, and Craigmont is to complete the implementation of its installation plan by June 1, 2025.

For more details on these settlements, visit:

These regulations strengthen the EPA’s national compliance initiative to improve surface water quality by ensuring unloaders comply with their permits under the Clean Water Act.