City of Heyburn's future in jeopardy after hundreds of EPA violations

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HEYBURN, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The city of Heyburn is facing a crisis after they received notice from the Environmental Protection Agency that the waste water treatment plant was not compliant.

"We will be doing something this year. We will be bonding in one way or another, and that's something that's being imposed on us, we don't have a choice," said City Administrator Tony Morley.

After the EPA cited the city of Heyburn for almost 600 violations they could be facing bankruptcy, to pay for the necessary upgrades.

"Laid out the violations then it talks about how we cure those violations, and what we need to do,” Morley said. “That included two phases of upgrade in our waste water treatment plant. The first phase would need to be completed by 2020, I think July of 2020 and then the second phase would give us until 2022."

The two phases focus on three major areas.

"There's a solids handling, we have to put in a screw press, the short version is that just takes a lot of the solids out of the system,” Morley said. “The UV disinfection system, we have to build a new building and put in a new UV disinfection system. Then we need a clarifier system as well."

This will directly effect the rates that are charged to the citizens for their waste water services.

"If we don't meet the deadlines in the consent order we would be in danger of being fined up to $53,000 a day," Morley said. "Because of the nature of the way this is coming at us we have to attack it rather aggressively and get it taken care of as soon as we can."

The Heyburn City Council is meeting Wednesday at 7 P.M. to discuss bond options. The public is encouraged to attend to learn more and voice their opinions.



 
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