Federal Government Settles Clean Water Violations Threatening Chesepeake Bay

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, a West Virginia county water system will pay over a half a million dollars in fines as a result of “chronic” violations of the Clean Water Act. The government claimed that the Berekely County Public Service Sewer District exceeded pollution limits at its water treatment facilities over 1,300 times.

Beyond the penalties, the settlement commits the district to a plan to rennovate its sewer and stormwater system, at an estimated cost of $50 million.

The government also alleged that the district allowed over 500 sanitary sewer overflows, which resulted in the discharge of “pollutants such as bacteria, pathogens, nutrients, untreated industrial wastes, toxic pollutants, soil and pesticides and wastewater solids and debris.” The downstream effects of these discharges brought pollutants to the Potomac River, which flows through multiple states and into Chesepeake Bay.