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California city council recommends wastewater discharge permit

In our last post, we examined the issue of environmental permits. Today’s discussion involves a specific example involving the Mount Shasta City Council.

The city’s leaders reportedly reached agreement about their official response to the Crystal Geyser bottling facility. Local concerns had centered on the environmental impact of the company’s bottling operations, particularly regarding wastewater. The council recommended that all of the company's industrial rinse and process wastewater be discharged into the City's municipal sewer system. To comply, Crystal Geyser will need to apply for a permit from the city.

Our California law firm is well acquainted with the procedures needed to obtain permits for wastewater disposal. The procedures vary depending on whether the discharge is direct, such as into a river, or indirect, such as into a publicly owned treatment works.

For direct discharges, a company must obtain a permit under California's Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program. The permit will specify applicable limits on the categories and amounts of certain pollutants that can be discharged to surface waters. For indirect discharges, a municipal or state agency may set similar limits, called pretreatment standards.

There may also be some overlap with federal law. For example, metal finishing and certain other categories of industrial pollutants are regulated by the Effluent Guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If your company has concerns about potential wastewater that may be generated from industrial operations, make sure you consult with an environmental law firm. We can advise whether the federal Clean Water Act or other federal, state or local regulations govern your situation.

Source: Taft Midway Driller, “City of Mount Shasta approves draft EIR response letter,” Giovanni Lamanna, Feb. 27, 2017

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