Jemison approves settlement with ADEM

Published 4:51 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Jemison City Council voted during Monday’s meeting to approve a proposed settlement between the city and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

The resolution authorizes Jemison City Attorney John Hollis Jackson to execute a proposed settlement for the city.

The settlement stems from a complaint filed on May 4, 2009, by ADEM alleging that the city of Jemison was in violation of the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act.

The complaint stated that the city operated a wastewater treatment plant on County Road 42 in Jemison under the authority of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and discharged pollutants from the treatment plant into a nearby creek.

The permit from NPDES limited the amount of discharge of pollutants from Mohorn Creek, which is owned by the state, and the city was found to be in violation of the terms and conditions of the permit.

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed explained on Wednesday that the resolution passed during Monday’s council meeting approved a settlement that will require the city to have 90 days to submit a report to ADEM with detailed plans to correct the situation.

“When this originally happened we found a lot of things out of compliance with our sewer plant,” Reed said. “There was a complaint filed, but it has since been corrected. We have complied with the requirements and we have done everything to show we comply.”

Reed said the city has worked to bring the issues up to code, but in the meantime the suit against the city was still filed.

“We have worked with the state to fix those problems,” Reed said. “The problems have been rectified but we have to show that.”

Reed said Southwest Water Company was hired in 2009 by the city and helped to correct the problems.

“We hired them and they operate our water system now,” Reed said. “They came in and helped us with this problem.”

As part of the settlement between the Alabama Attorney General and ADEM toward the city of Jemison, Jemison will now have 90 days to submit an engineering report prepared by an engineer licensed by the state to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and ADEM.

The engineering report is required to describe the details of the corrective action plan that the city will implement to come into compliance with ADEM’s permit.

The city will also be required to submit a progress report detailing the progress toward achieving compliance with the items presented in the compliance plan.

The council unanimously passed the resolution on Monday and took no other action.