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No Fines For Sewage Overflow

Ed Williams

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority announced Wednesday that it’s building more backup safety systems at the wastewater treatment plant following a massive spill of partially treated sewage into the Rio Grande.

A power surge during a snowstorm disabled equipment at the treatment plant in February, spilling some 6 million gallons of wastewater into the Rio Grande. The spill caused high levels of E. Coli contamination in the river, and was a violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency is not issuing any fines for the violation but is requiring the water authority to install new safety measures to prevent future spills, including backup power sources and ponds to catch overflows before they get to the river. 

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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