Feds Sue Driggs, Idaho for Excess Pollutants in Wastewater

Bloomberg Law

The City of Driggs, Idaho illegally discharged pollutants from its sewer system, the US says in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Clean Water Act.

Driggs’ wastewater treatment plant and sewage collection system failed to comply with the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, which allowed it to release wastewater from an outfall if it followed certain discharge limits, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint, filed Monday in the US District Court for the District of Idaho, says the city didn’t comply with the permit’s limits for E. coli, ammonia, and other biochemicals on various days within the past five years.

Some sampling records lacked signatures, dates, and times, the lawsuit said.

The EPA entered into a consent agreement with the city in 2018 to resolve the agency’s claims for 3,722 violations of the NPDES permit that occurred between 2012 and 2017. The Environmental Protection Agency also issued an order which required Driggs to achieve compliance with the permit’s limitations. But the city failed to implement the requirements, and it didn’t meet the deadlines set by the consent order, the lawsuit said.

Causes of Action: Clean Water Act.

Relief: Assess civil penalties against the city, order compliance with the act, and order the city to mitigate the impact of its violations.

Response: The city didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys: The US is represented by the Justice Department.

The case is USA v. City of Driggs, Idaho, D. Idaho, No. 4:22-cv-00444, complaint filed 10/24/22.