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Environmental notebook

by Emily Walkenhorst | March 13, 2016 at 3:26 a.m.

Tainted-water list deadline delayed

Residents have until Wednesday afternoon to submit public comments on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's proposed list of polluted water bodies.

The department has until April 1 to consider the comments and submit its list -- called the 303(d) list -- to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a final decision on the polluted statuses of the bodies of water.

The deadline for comments was previously March 11.

The 303(d) list is compiled every two years by the Department of Environmental Quality. However, the EPA hasn't approved the state's list since 2008 because of disagreements between the state and federal agencies over how the department designates bodies of water as polluted.

Including a body of water on the 303(d) list can trigger a study to determine the allowable levels of minerals in the water, which can affect permits sought and held by facilities that discharge wastewater into them.

Park Service flags 2 treatment sites

The National Park Service has proposed replacing two wastewater treatment plants at the Buffalo National River, according to a news release from the agency last week.

The agency is accepting public comments on the proposal through April 9.

The two wastewater treatment plants at the Buffalo Point visitor area were constructed in 1972 and are nearing the end of their useful life, the news release said. One plant discharges wastewater into the Buffalo River, and another discharges wastewater into a tributary of the river.

It is imperative that the wastewater treatment plants "provide the highest level of treatment possible to limit discharge of pathogens, nitrates, phosphates, dissolved solids, and other pollutants into the river," the release states. "Components of the existing WWTPs often freeze during the winter months, and the above-ground steel construction makes them prone to deterioration from constant exposure to corrosive environments."

The National Park Service's proposal includes demolishing and rehabilitating the facilities, and constructing new plants that can handle at least 15,000 gallons of wastewater per day.

4 school districts get new-bus cash

Four school districts will share more than $100,000, awarded from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, to reduce their diesel emissions.

Clinton, County Line, Danville and Barton-Lexa school districts were awarded funds from the department's Reduce Emissions from Diesels Program, according to a department news release.

The department has $171,041 remaining for awards in 2016, and has another awards application deadline April 30 "or until all funds are awarded." Private and public entities are eligible for the awards.

Clinton School District will get $45,000 to replace two school buses. County Line School District will get $20,843 to replace one bus. Danville School District will get $24,475 to replace one bus, and Barton-Lexa School District will get $42,500 to replace two buses.

Metro on 03/13/2016

Print Headline: Environmental notebook

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