Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Trophy Club MUD Receives another Notice of Violation from TCEQ

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) website, on February 20, 2015, the Trophy Club Municipal Utility District (MUD) received yet another Notice of Violation for violations at the wastewater treatment plant.

According to TCEQ, these recent violations are the result of the MUD’s, “Failure to prevent the unauthorized discharge of wastewater from the collection system…”, “Failure to maintain the treatment units…”, “Failure to provide notification of any effluent violation, which deviates from the permitted effluent limitation by more than 40 percent.” and “Failure to maintain compliance with the self-reported effluent limitation for ammonia-nitrogen.”.

The data compiled by TCEQ indicates that the Trophy Club MUD has at least 34 violations over the last five years for similar failures to properly operate the wastewater treatment plant.

The latest Notice of Violation was clearly issued to the Trophy Club MUD at 1499 Indian Creek, yet the focus of the February 17 MUD meeting was the developer whose broken sewer pipe overloaded the treatment plant on January 22 and 23 of this year. Taxpayers and customers are probably extremely confused by these latest developments.

The evolving official story about these violations began withMUD Directors claiming in 2009 that the violations were a mistake in the database. By 2012 the story had permutated with Directors claiming that a surprise rule change by TCEQ had caught them off guard. Now in 2015 the story appears to be that third parties are causing the violations. Whatever the story, these well documented violations have continued to plague MUD treatment plant operations through the years.

This story most likely has no happy ending for the taxpayers and MUD customers.  TCEQ states, “The permittee reported three unauthorized discharges from the collection system totaling 7, 000 gallons since the last collection system focused investigation conducted on September 3, 2013.” This quantity of untreated wastewater is obviously bad for the environment and exposes the MUD to potentially severe monetary fines.  According to the EPA region 6 Clean Water Act website, violations of a permit condition can result in fines as high as $32,500 per day for each violation.

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