IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 14, 2013
Mr. Kirk (for himself and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish a deadline for restricting sewage dumping into the Great Lakes and to fund programs and activities for improving wastewater discharges into the Great Lakes.
This Act may be cited as the
Great Lakes Water Protection
Prohibition on sewage dumping into the Great Lakes
Section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Prohibition on sewage dumping into the Great Lakes
In this subsection:
The term bypass means an intentional diversion of waste streams to bypass any portion of a treatment facility which results in a discharge into the Great Lakes.
The term discharge means a direct or indirect discharge of untreated sewage or partially treated sewage from a treatment works into the Great Lakes.
The term discharge includes a bypass and a combined sewer overflow.
The term Great Lakes has the meaning given the term in section 118(a)(3).
Partially treated sewage
The term partially treated sewage means any sewage, sewage and storm water, or sewage and wastewater, from domestic or industrial sources that—
is not treated to national secondary treatment standards for wastewater; or
is treated to a level less than the level required by the applicable national pollutant discharge elimination system permit.
The term treatment facility includes all wastewater treatment units used by a publicly owned treatment works to meet secondary treatment standards or higher, as required to attain water quality standards, under any operating conditions.
The term treatment works has the meaning given the term in section 212.
A publicly owned treatment works is prohibited from performing a bypass unless—
the bypass is unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage;
there is not a feasible alternative to the bypass, such as the use of auxiliary treatment facilities, retention of untreated wastes, or maintenance during normal periods of equipment downtime; and
the treatment works provides notice of the bypass in accordance with this subsection; or
the bypass does not cause effluent limitations to be exceeded, and the bypass is for essential maintenance to ensure efficient operation of the treatment facility.
The requirement of paragraph (2)(A)(ii) is not satisfied if—
adequate back-up equipment should have been installed in the exercise of reasonable engineering judgment to prevent the bypass; and
the bypass occurred during normal periods of equipment downtime or preventive maintenance.
Immediate notice requirements
A publicly owned treatment works shall provide to the entities described in subparagraph (B)—
for any anticipated discharge, prior notice of that discharge; and
for any unanticipated discharge, as soon as practicable, but not later than—
for a treatment works with an automated detection system, 2 hours after the discharge begins; and
for a treatment works without an automated detection system, 12 hours after the discharge begins.
The entities referred to in subparagraph (A) are—
the Administrator or, in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section, the State;
each local health department or, if a local health department does not exist, the State health department;
the municipality in which the discharge occurred and each municipality with jurisdiction over waters that may be affected by the discharge;
a daily newspaper of general circulation in each county in which a municipality described in clause (iii) is located; and
the general public through a prominent announcement on a publicly accessible Internet site of the treatment works.
The notice under subparagraph (A) shall include a description of—
the volume and state of treatment of the discharge;
the date and time of the discharge;
the expected duration of the discharge;
the steps being taken to contain the discharge, except for a discharge that is a wet weather combined sewer overflow discharge;
the location of the discharge, with the maximum level of specificity practicable; and
the cause for the discharge.
Follow-up notice requirements
Each publicly owned treatment works that provides notice under paragraph (4)(B) shall provide to the Administrator (or to the State in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section), not later than 5 days after the date on which the publicly owned treatment works provides initial notice, a follow-up notice containing—
a more full description of the cause of the discharge;
the reason for the discharge;
the period of discharge, including the exact dates and times;
if the discharge has not been corrected, the anticipated time the discharge is expected to continue;
the volume of the discharge resulting from the bypass;
a description of any public access areas that has or may be impacted by the bypass; and
steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent reoccurrence of the discharge.
Public availability of notices
Not later than 48 hours after providing or receiving a follow-up notice under paragraph (5), as applicable, a publicly owned treatment works and the Administrator (or the State, in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section) shall each post the follow-up notice on a publicly accessible, searchable database on the Internet.
The Administrator (or the State, in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section) shall annually publish and make available to the public a list of each of the treatment works from which the Administrator or the State, as applicable, received a follow-up notice under paragraph (5).
Bypasses prohibited by this section include bypasses resulting in discharges from a publicly owned treatment works that consist of effluent routed around treatment units and thereafter blended together with effluent from treatment units prior to discharge.
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall establish procedures to ensure that permits issued under this section (or under a State permit program approved under this section) to a publicly owned treatment works include requirements to implement this subsection.
Increase in maximum civil penalty for violations occurring after January 1, 2033
Notwithstanding section 309, in the case of a violation of this subsection occurring on or after January 1, 2033, or any violation of a permit limitation or condition implementing this subsection occurring after that date, the maximum civil penalty that shall be assessed for the violation shall be $100,000 per day for each day the violation occurs.
This subsection shall apply to a bypass occurring after the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this subsection.
Establishment of Great Lakes Cleanup Fund
Title V of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) is amended—
Establishment of Great Lakes Cleanup Fund
In this section:
The term Fund means the Great Lakes Cleanup Fund established by subsection (b).
Great Lakes; Great Lakes States
The terms Great Lakes and Great Lakes States have the meanings given the terms in section 118(a)(3).
Establishment of fund
There is established
in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the
Great Lakes Cleanup Fund (referred to in this section as the
Transfers to fund
Effective January 1, 2033, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Fund amounts equivalent to the penalties collected for violations of section 402(s).
Administration of fund
The Administrator shall administer the Fund.
Use of funds
The Administrator shall—
make the amounts in the Fund available to the Great Lakes States for use in carrying out programs and activities for improving wastewater discharges into the Great Lakes, including habitat protection and wetland restoration; and
allocate those amounts among the Great Lakes States based on the proportion that—
the amount attributable to a Great Lakes State for penalties collected for violations of section 402(s); bears to
the total amount of those penalties attributable to all Great Lakes States.
In selecting programs and activities to be funded using amounts made available under this section, a Great Lakes State shall give priority consideration to programs and activities that address violations of section 402(s) resulting in the collection of penalties.
Conforming amendment to State revolving fund program
Section 607 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1387) is amended—
There is and inserting
general.—There is; and
by adding at the end the following:
Treatment of Great Lakes Cleanup Fund
For purposes of this title, amounts made available from the Great Lakes Cleanup Fund under section 519 shall be treated as funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title and as funds made available under this title, except that the funds shall be made available to the Great Lakes States in accordance with section 519.