City considering update to industrial pretreatment program

City Commissioners will review an amendment to the city code pertaining to the industrial pretreatment program and prohibited discharges and limitations.

Commissioners will be asked to accept the ordinance on first reading and set a final reading for a future date upon approval of the proposed modifications from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The city’s current Montana Pollutant Discharge Permit for the wastewater treatment plant was renewed on Sept. 1, 2019.

The 2019 permit contains requirements that the city determines if the existing technically based local limits are adequate to implement the general and specific prohibitions of the industrial pretreatment program.

The city’s local limits currently in city code are a direct reflection of the permit’s effluent limitations and were last updated in 2016.

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City staff conducted a technical review of its local limits and concluded re-evaluation was necessary, according to the staff report.

Staff conducted sampling to update analytical data reflecting current influent and effluent at the wastewater treatment plant and used the latest EPA guidelines to develop the proposed limits.

City staff submitted a draft report of the proposed limits to EPA for review and have made multiple updates to address EPA comments and concerns, according to the staff report.

The EPA notified the city in July that the proposed local limits were considered “approvable,” pending city ordinance updates, according to staff.

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The proposed local limits will “enforce more stringent applicable water quality standards and help protect the city’s publicly owned treatment works, including the wastewater treatment plant, sanitary sewer collection system and lift stations,” according to the staff report.

The proposed ordinance adjust the city’s industrial pretreatment local limits to reflect the city’s current 2019 permit requirements.