During the February 16th Townhall held to discuss the possible sale of the Water/Wastewater utilities to Virginia American Water, Town Manager Hozey noted that the wastewater plant had incurred civil fines from DEQ in the past. The comment was part of a conversation linked to the town’s inability, in its own words to hire the needed “expertise” to manage the utility system.
The Mirror contacted the town to get a list of fines. Town Manager Hozey responded, “The most recent fine that I mentioned at the meetings is still in the hands of DEQ and will be released for public review and comment on February 28th. Documentation on fines before I came to the Town have not been well maintained. I’ve been made aware of past instances via telephonic discussions with DEQ enforcement officials.“
The Mirror contacted DEQ to gather more information, and could only find one instance where fines were actually levied against the operation of the “new” wastewater system.
DEQ told the Mirror, “only one civil charge, or fine, proposed for Cape Charles regarding the Water Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). The attached consent order lists the civil charge (page 8). The consent order is currently at public notice, beginning today and closes March 30, 2022, following which the consent order can be signed by the Regional Director, making it effective.”
DEQ did tell the Mirror that Cape Charles did enter into consent orders in 1990 and 2010 that contained civil charges (fines) for the ‘old’ wastewater plant.