Dothan agrees to EPA Consent Order

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

DOTHAN, AL--A 6-0 vote along with a better wastewater treatment plant may have saved the city of Dothan billions of dollars in fines.

Tuesday Dothan city commissioners agreed to follow the EPA's consent order on what requirements the plant should meet.

"It's been very concerning and it's just a great day in the city of dothan that we Resolved issues and that the lawsuit is no longer moving forward," said Dothan City Mayor Mike Schmitz.

The city recently shut down the beaver creek plant after logging dozens of sanitary overflows.
An exact dollar amount for the penalties wasn't given but according to the clear water act the city could have faced up to $37,500 per day, per violation.

"You see some of the cities and the fines that they had and the seriousness of a billion dollars, it deeply concerned me about the future of our city," added Mayor Schmitz.

The city has since expanded an existing plant, all of the waste water flow from beaver creek now goes to the Little Choctawhatchee plant.

To help with the matter, the city sought an outside council, who has also worked for the EPA

"There are projects that are required under the order there are several plans that have to be created so were gonna be analyzing the sewer system for areas that need improvement," explained Adam Sowatzka.

The city hopes to have everything in compliance within the next 5 years.

"They're gonna continue to watch what we do over the next few years and hopefully we'll continue to work with them the way i believe we will."

The process costs more than $500,000 so far.

The city can apply to come out from under the consent order once all of the requirements have been implemented and have been in place for two years.

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