DEP Announces Settlement with City of Franklin, General Authority Over Violations Associated with Overfeed of Fluoride in Water System

Meadville, PA (4/9/2019) – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a settlement agreement with the City of Franklin and the City’s General Authority for violations of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act associated with an overfeed of fluoride in the Franklin water system in February 2018.

The agreement requires the City and the General Authority to take actions to update operational procedures, provide public notice of certain conditions, submit records, and obtain permits for equipment changes at their water plants. The agreement includes a $25,000 civil penalty for violations associated with the 2018 fluoride overfeed and irregularities in the City and General Authority’s reporting of disinfection treatment levels.

Additionally, the City of Franklin’s designated operator-in-charge of the drinking water system, Fred Leyda, signed a consent order and agreement with the DEP in which he surrendered his operator’s certification and paid a $2,500 civil penalty for the violations.

As a result of the fluoride overfeed, the City had to take several emergency actions, including extensive flushing of the water distribution system and providing alternate sources of water to its customers for nearly two weeks in February 2018. Since that time, however, the water system has been providing water to customers without incident.

“Under Pennsylvania law, public water suppliers are required to report to DEP within an hour of discovering an issue that could adversely impact the drinking water which, upon our investigation, the City and General Authority failed to do,” said DEP Northwest Regional Director James Miller. “This settlement reflects the City’s and General Authority’s cooperation with DEP’s investigation and DEP’s commitment to ensuring that customers of water supplies are protected and that violations are addressed promptly.”

The signed COAs are available at:

http://files.dep.state.pa.us/RegionalResources/NWRO/NWROPortalFiles/Fred%20Leyda%20COA%201%20Apr%202019.pdf

http://files.dep.state.pa.us/RegionalResources/NWRO/NWROPortalFiles/Franklin,%20City%20of%20&%20General%20Authority%204-5-19.pdf

CONTACT: Elizabeth Rementer, DEP 717-787-1323

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