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Charleston Sanitary Board fined for environmental violations

Read the DEP order

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Several environmental violations found at a municipal sewer rehabilitation site in July resulted in a fine of $12,510 to the Charleston Sanitary Board, according to documents from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Violations found at the Lick Branch-South Ruffner Sewer Rehabilitation Project in South Hills include: sediment discharge in a tributary of Lick Branch; runoff from the road flowing directly into the stream; a neglected silt fence; a slope breaker that didn't have any kind of sediment trap; and a broken sewer line that resulted in raw sewage leaking into the stream.

The sanitary board was also fined for failing to report those issues, according to the DEP order.

The South Ruffner project began last spring and called for the replacement of about seven miles of sewer lines, as well as the installation of plastic lining in about a mile of pipe.

Larry Roller, general manager of the Sanitary Board, said contractor Pipes Plus Inc. -- a Nitro-based company -- was implementing the project when the violations occurred.

"It's our project," Roller said. "You obligate the contractor to perform the work and perform the work in accordance with the law and the regulation."

A heavy rain led to those violations, according to Operations Manager Tim Haapala. The area around South Ruffner Road is known for receiving high amounts of rainfall in a short period of time, Haapala said.

"Prior to the contract and people breaking ground there, the local folks even said when there's substantial rain like that the creek gets silted up," Haapala said.

While the Sanitary Board was given the notice of violation and charged the fine, Roller said Pipes Plus reimbursed the board for the fines. The necessary repairs have been made and the fine has been paid to the DEP, Roller said.

Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.molenda@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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