The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is giving notice of the chance to comment on a proposed settlement agreement that resolves claims made by the EPA that Two Medicine Water Company violated the Clean Water Act at the Browning Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Two Medicine Water Treatment Plant situated on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana for unpermitted discharges of pollutants and failing to follow permit requirements.

About the two-medicine water companies:

According to the EPA, Two Medicine Water Companies accepted the proposed settlement after it was discovered that it had violated permit conditions and released pollutants into a tributary of Willow Creek and a tributary of the Two Medicine River.

The company failed to self-monitor, submit required discharge reports, execute weekly inspections, and discharge pollutants at the Two Medicine Water Treatment Plant without a permit, according to the EPA.

Browning Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Facility

According to the EPA, the Browning Facility neglected to execute weekly inspections, file monthly discharge reports, monitor pollutants, and maintain lagoon dikes. According to the EPA, it also released toxins without a permit.

Clean Water Act

For the Clean Water Act violations at the Browning Facility and Two Medicine WTP, the Company has agreed to pay a civil administrative penalty of $40,000.00. According to the Clean Water Act, the EPA considered the Company's prior history of violations, responsibility, economic gain, and ability to pay when determining this penalty. They also looked at the nature, circumstances, amount, and degree of the violations. The Company's contention that it couldn't afford a higher fine was supported by the EPA's assessment of the Company's financial records.

Public comments

Regarding this proposed settlement, EPA is accepting public comments. It will also keep assessing and ensuring future compliance at these sites. The Regional Judicial Officer of the EPA must give final clearance after a 30-day public comment period. The period for receiving public comments is from December 20, 2022, until January 19, 2023.

Modifications to Proposed Acrylamide Regulation Approved

On December 20, 2022, the Office of Administrative Law approved the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s proposal to amend Title 27, California Code of Regulations by adopting Section 25506, originally proposed as Section 25505. The new section addresses acrylamide in food formed by cooking or heat processing.

The regulation will be effective on April 1, 2023

The regulatory text and the supporting rulemaking documents are available at the following links:

Final Approval/OAL Action

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