Sherwood agrees to pay $3,600 fine for cutting levee near wastewater treatment plant

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The Sherwood City Council on Monday voted to adopt a resolution authorizing Mayor Virginia Hillman and City Clerk Angela Nicholson to execute a consent decree issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality where Sherwood will pay a fine of $3,600.

The fines were imposed by ADEQ because the city had cut into some levees near one of its wastewater treatment plants to drain water from the area.

“Based upon a perceived violation on May 13, 2013, by the City of Sherwood, ADEQ has issued a consent administrative order and assessed a penalty against the city for $3,600,” reads the resolution. “ADEQ acknowledges that the city of Sherwood does not admit a violation has been committed.”

On July 3, Alan Anderson an ADEQ enforcement analyst in the water division wrote a letter to Hillman that stated the city submitted a plan for de-watering of the equalization basin at the facility that was necessary for the reconstruction of the basin’s levees.

“The respondent’s plan included the cutting of the equalization basin levee,” states the decree. “ADEQ responded on May 10, 2013 informing the respondent that the cutting of the levee would be an unpermitted discharge by both state and federal law.”

Three days later, the city responded by telling ADEQ that it would commence dewatering the levees on May 13.

“On May 13, 2013, the ADEQ conducted an investigation of the facility, according to the letter. “The investigation revealed that the levee had been cut in order to create a new outlet for the discharge of wastewater from the equalization basin.

ADEQ’s letter stated that Sherwood agreed not to continue the water discharge project at the levee.

“The city of Sherwood neither admits nor denies the allegations contained in this order, but has agreed to enter into this order,” according to the report.

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