Administrative Civil Liability Settlement Agreement, Susanville Sanitary District, Lassen County
On October 28, 2020, the Lahontan Water Board's Executive Officer signed Order No. R6T-2020-0055, Settlement Agreement and Stipulation for Entry of Order, resolving 242 violations subject to mandatory minimum penalties totaling $726,000.
The Water Board issued the Susanville Sanitary District (District) Administrative Civil Liability Complaint No. R6T-2011-0002 (Complaint) and a February 24, 2020 Notice of Violation identifying a total of 242 alleged violations subject to mandatory minimum penalties of $3,000 per violation. All but one of the alleged violations were associated with treated wastewater discharges from the District's wastewater treatment facility in Susanville, California. The alleged violations occurred between September 1, 2008 and September 30, 2012. There is also one alleged late monitoring report violation associated with the District's June 2015 self-monitoring report. The mandatory minimum penalties for all 242 alleged violations total $726,000. District and Water Board Prosecution Team representatives signed a tentative settlement agreement to resolve the alleged violations identified in the Complaint and Notice of Violation on August 13, 2020 and August 28, 2020, respectively.
The tentative settlement agreement was released for a 30-day public comment period, during which no comments were received. On October 28, 2020, the Water Board's Executive Officer subsequently signed Order No. R6T-2020-0055, accepting the tentative settlement agreement. The settlement agreement requires the District to pay a $3,000 liability for the late reporting violation to the State Water Resources Control Board's Cleanup and Abatement Account, and suspends the remaining $723,000 in response to the District's $2.78 million compliance project that addressed the causes of the violations and was completed in March 2012. The State Water Resources Control Board's Water Quality Enforcement Policy provides the option of applying mandatory minimum penalties to compliance projects, such as the one described in the settlement agreement, for small communities with a financial hardship. The town of Susanville satisfies such conditions.
Additional information regarding the Order and other documents related to this action are provided below.