Last week, an Order of the Settlement was entered resolving two lawsuits alleging violations at the Oxford Tull C. Allen Wastewater Treatment Plant, which discharges treated wastewater into Choccolocco Creek. Coosa Riverkeeper, Oxford Waterworks and Sewer Board, the State of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management reached a settlement in two related suits regarding claims against the Board under the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act and the Clean Water Act.
The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing of liability regarding any of claims, which were disputed by the Board, or the matters addressed in the settlement.
As part of the settlement agreement, the Board has agreed to pay civil penalties and litigation expenses and fund a comprehensive engineering analysis by an independent engineering firm and will implement all plant improvements to operations and maintenance, including replacing force mains and older manholes, replacing and automating its disinfection system, installing a new mobile monitoring system and operations software, and undergoing an independent audit of plant sampling procedures.
The Board has also agreed to fund an independent collection system analysis, which will identify leaking pipes and prioritize those that require immediate attention. Informed by the collection assessment report, the Board has agreed to complete future projects over the next five years that will limit the level of rainwater infiltration in the system.
Subject to the terms of the settlement agreement, Coosa Riverkeeper has agreed to forebear any further legal actions regarding the operation of the Plant and its related collection system during the next five years.