GREENSBURG – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has initiated the termination of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the disposal of sanitary wastewater from the Creswood Mobile Home Park Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greensburg.

According to IDEM documents from August 2019, the NPDES permit was issued Jan. 29, 2015 with subsequent modification issued Jan. 24, 2018 and March 23, 2018. The expiration date for the permit was set for May 31, 2020.

Information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency states the NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program is authorized to state governments by EPA to perform many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program.

Information from IDEM states, “Notification has been received that the current permitee has sold the mobile home park, and no parties are claiming ownership and responsibility of the associated wastewater treatment plant covered under this NPDES permit.”

According to IDEM documents, the wastewater treatment plant has demonstrated “many” violations to the NPDES permit with the most recent one documented in a May 2, 2019 inspection.

Violations include not transferring the permit following a change of ownership, operating without a certified operator, not properly maintaining the facility nor operating in a manner to minimize upsets and discharges of excessive pollutants, and not conducting nor reporting any monitoring.

During an April 25, 2019 inspection, the permit was given an overall unsatisfactory rating because IDEM had not received “proper” notification for transferring it (the permit) to new owners.

The IDEM document indicates the operation was rated unsatisfactory due to not being operated under the supervision of a certified operator, and the permit requires all waste collection, control, treatment, and disposal facilities to be operated as efficiently as possible and in a manner which will minimize upsets and discharges of excessive pollutants.

IDEM records say at the time of the inspection, the blower was inoperable — therefore, the wastewater treatment plant was discharging untreated wastewater — and no disinfection of the wastewater was operable at the time of inspection.

Maintenance was rated unsatisfactory due to the facility having the blower out of service due to mechanical failure. The documents also indicate septic conditions were evident at the wastewater treatment plant due to the failure of the blower and the resulting lack of aeration.

The self-monitoring program was also rated unsatisfactory. This was due to not monitoring final effluent at the frequency required by the permit, according to IDEM.

The report also said there hadn’t been any monitoring completed since August 2017.

As for the records/reports evaluation, it also received an unsatisfactory rating by IDEM. Part of the permit requires the permitee to submit monitoring reports postmarked no later than the 28th day of the month following each completed monitoring period. Reports should include the discharge monitoring report and the monthly report of operation. At the time of the inspection in April, IDEM said no records had been submitted since August 2017.

According to a representative from IDEM, the owner of the mobile home park has the option of fixing, rebuilding, or connecting to another facility, and they are not on a sewer ban.

The Daily News has also reached out to the Indiana State Department of Health for more information as they oversee the mobile home park itself.

This is an ongoing story. The Daily News will provide more information as it becomes available.

Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x217401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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