East Chicago Sanitary district,



Case No. 2018-25520-W




Complainant and Respondent desire to settle and compromise this action without hearing or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and consent to the entry of the following Findings of Fact and Order. Pursuant to Indiana Code (IC) 13-30-3-3, entry into the terms of this Agreed Order does not constitute an admission of any violation contained herein. Respondent's entry into this Agreed Order shall not constitute a waiver of any defense, legal or equitable, which Respondent may have in any future administrative or judicial proceeding, except a proceeding to enforce this order.




1.             Complainant is the Commissioner (Complainant) of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), a department of the State of Indiana created by IC 13-13-1-1.


2.             Respondent owns and operates the East Chicago Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), located at 5201 Indianapolis Boulevard, East Chicago, Lake County, Indiana (the Site).


3.             Respondent is authorized by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Number IN0022829 (the Permit) to discharge wastewater treated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the NPDES Permit from the WWTP into the West Branch Grand Calumet River, via Outfall 001. The Respondent’s collection system is comprised of combined sanitary and storm sewers with three (3) Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) locations; Outfall 002, 003, and 005.


4.             IDEM has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this action pursuant to IC 13-30-3.


5.             Pursuant to IC 13-30-3-3, on October 11, 2018, IDEM issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) via Certified Mail to:


The Honorable Anthony Copeland, Mayor

City of East Chicago

4527 Indianapolis Boulevard

East Chicago, Indiana 46312


6.             Pursuant to 327 Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) 5-2-8(1), Permittee shall comply with all terms and condition of the Permit. Any permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act and Indiana Code (IC) 13 and is grounds for enforcement action by IDEM.


7.             During an investigation on September 27, 2017, conducted by a representative of IDEM, violations were found, as described below.


8.        Pursuant to Attachment A, Part III.B of the Permit, the permittee’s implementation of each of the minimum controls in Part III.A of this Attachment A shall be documented in its approved CSO Operational Plan (CSOOP). As necessary, the permittee shall update the CSOOP and submit all updates to the CSOOP to IDEM for approval. The permittee shall maintain a current CSOOP, including all approved updates, on file at the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW).


Respondent’s CSOOP was approved on January 1, 1995.


Respondent has not updated and/or submitted updates of the 1995 approved CSOOP to IDEM for approval, in violation of Attachment A, Part III.B of the Permit.


Respondent has not complied with the approved CSOOP, in violation of Attachment A, Part III.B of the Permit. Specifically, Respondent failed to:


1.        Report three months (March through May 2017) of discharges from

CSO 005 on the bypass/overflow incident report form during dry weather;

2.        Develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for dewatering the clarifiers for cleaning and maintenance, as well as for the dewatering of the CSO lagoon;

3.        Inspect the CSO outfalls. This should be done as part of regular collection system operation and maintenance and needs to be included in the update to the CSOOP;

4.        Maintain accessibility for CSO 002;

5.        Install public notification signs for CSO 003. This outfall is located along the Grand Calumet River and needs to have signs that are visible from the land and the river; and

6.        Maintain visibility for the CSO notification sign for CSO 005. It is not visible from the receiving stream, and needs to be moved closer to the receiving stream and outfall location.


9.        Pursuant to 327 5-2-8(11)(C) and Part II.C.3.d of the Permit, the permittee shall orally report information on any of the following types of noncompliance within twenty-four (24) hours from the time the permittee becomes aware of such noncompliance:

                   i.       Any unanticipated bypass that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.

                  ii.       Violation of a maximum daily discharge limitation for any of the pollutants listed by the commissioner in the permit to be reported within twenty-four (24) hours.

                iii.       Any noncompliance that may pose a significant danger to human health or the environment. Reports under this item shall be made as soon as the permittee becomes aware of the noncomplying circumstances to (888) 233-7745.

                iv.       Any upset that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.


Respondent failed to report basement backups caused by their sewer system, in violation of 327 5-2-8(11)(C) and Part II.C.3.d of the Permit.


10.      Pursuant to 327 IAC 5-2.1-6, a CSO community shall, unless alternative procedures are identified by the community that are equivalently effective, provide public notice [of CSO discharge(s)] in a newspaper of general circulation in March of each year to allow the following to request receipt of CSO notification:

A.        Media sources, such as newspapers, television, or radio.

B.        Affected public.

C.        Other interested persons in the CSO community.


Respondent failed to comply with the annual notification requirement of providing public notice of CSO discharge(s) in a newspaper of general circulation in March of each year, in violation of 327 IAC 5-2.1-6.


11.      On October 30, 2017, IDEM sent an Audit Summary Letter to Respondent outlining violations at the WWTP. The letter required a response detailing actions taken to correct the violations. In addition, IDEM sent two emails to Respondent on December 20, 2017 and January 9, 2018 and a Non-Compliance letter on February 9, 2018, requesting a response to the October 30, 2017 Audit Summary letter. A response was received on February 13, 2018 explaining actions that will be completed to correct the violations and also included an April 30, 2018 submittal date for the updated CSOOP. To date, IDEM has not received an updated CSOOP or confirmation that the corrective actions have been completed.


12.         In recognition of the settlement reached, Respondent waives any right to administrative and judicial review of this Agreed Order.




1.             This Agreed Order shall be effective (Effective Date) when it is adopted by Complainant or Complainant’s delegate (as evidenced by signature), and the adopted Agreed Order has been received by Respondent. This Agreed Order shall have no force or effect until the Effective Date. In addition to addressing the violations cited in Paragraphs 8 through 10 of the Findings of Fact above, this Agreed Order also addresses any additional violations of these same rules that may have occurred subsequent to the issuance of the NOV and prior to the Effective Date.


2.             Respondent shall comply with rules and statutes listed in the findings above at issue.


3.             Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date, Respondent shall submit for approval an updated CSOOP to Order Paragraph 6. The updated CSOOP shall include, but not be limited to, the correction of the violations stated in Findings of Fact Paragraphs 8 through 10.


4.             The CSOOP required by Order Paragraph 3 is subject to IDEM approval. In the event IDEM determines that the CSOOP submitted by Respondent is deficient or otherwise unacceptable, Respondent shall revise and resubmit the CSSOP to IDEM in accordance with IDEM’s notice.


5.             Respondent, upon receipt of written notification from IDEM, shall immediately implement the approved CSSOP and adhere to the milestone dates therein.


6.             All submittals required by this Agreed Order, unless Respondent is notified otherwise in writing by IDEM, shall be sent to:


Linda McClure, Enforcement Case Manager

Office of Water Quality – IGCN 1255

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

100 North Senate Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251


7.             Respondent is assessed and agrees to pay a civil penalty of Four Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($4,500). Said penalty amount shall be due and payable to the “Environmental Management Special Fund” within 30 days of the Effective Date, the 30th day being a “Due Date.”


8.             In the event the terms and conditions of the following paragraphs are violated, IDEM may assess and Respondent shall pay the corresponding stipulated penalty:




Stipulated Penalty


Failure to submit an updated CSSOP within the required time period.

$400 per week late, or part thereof.


Failure to submit or modify the CSOOP, if required, within the given time period

$250 per week late, or part thereof.


Failure to implement the approved CSSOP and adhere to the milestone dates.

$500 per event.


9.             Stipulated penalties shall be due and payable no later than the 30th day after Respondent receives written notice that IDEM has determined a stipulated penalty is due, the 30th day being a “Due Date.” IDEM may notify Respondent at any time that a stipulated penalty is due. Failure to notify Respondent in writing in a timely manner of a stipulated penalty assessment shall not waive IDEM’s right to collect such stipulated penalty or preclude IDEM from seeking additional relief against Respondent for violation of this Agreed Order. Neither assessment nor payment of stipulated penalties shall preclude IDEM from seeking additional relief against Respondent for a violation of this Agreed Order. Such additional relief includes any remedies or sanctions available pursuant to Indiana law, including, but not limited to, civil penalties pursuant to IC 13-30-4.


10.         Civil and stipulated penalties are payable by check to the “Environmental Management Special Fund.” Checks shall include the Case Number 2018-25520-W of this action and shall be mailed to:


Office of Legal Counsel

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IGCN, Room N1307

100 North Senate Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46204


11.         This Agreed Order shall apply to and be binding upon Respondent, its successors, and assigns. Respondent’s signatories to this Agreed Order certify that they are fully authorized to execute this Agreed Order and legally bind the party they represent. No change in ownership, corporate, or partnership status of Respondent shall in any way alter its status or responsibilities under this Agreed Order.


12.         In the event that the monies due to IDEM pursuant to this Agreed Order are not paid on or before their Due Date, Respondent shall pay interest on the unpaid balance and any accrued interest at the rate established by IC 24-4.6-1. The interest shall be computed as having accrued from the Due Date until the date that Respondent pays any unpaid balance. The interest shall continue to accrue on the first of each month until the civil penalty and any interest accrued are paid in full. Such interest shall be payable to the “Environmental Management Special Fund,” and shall be payable to IDEM in the manner specified above.


13.         In the event that any terms of this Agreed Order are found to be invalid, the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect and shall be construed and enforced as if this Agreed Order did not contain the invalid terms.


14.         Respondent shall provide a copy of this Agreed Order, if in force, to any subsequent owners or successors before ownership rights are transferred. Respondent shall ensure that all contractors, firms and other persons performing work under this Agreed Order comply with the terms of this Agreed Order.


15.         This Agreed Order is not and shall not be interpreted to be a permit or a modification of an existing permit. This Agreed Order, and IDEM’s review or approval of any submittal made by Respondent pursuant to this Agreed Order, shall not in any way relieve Respondent of its obligation to comply with the requirements of its applicable permits or any applicable Federal or State law or regulation.


16.         Complainant does not, by his approval of this Agreed Order, warrant or aver in any manner that Respondent’s compliance with any aspect of this Agreed Order will result in compliance with the provisions of any permit, order, or any applicable Federal or State law or regulation. Additionally, IDEM or anyone acting on its behalf shall not be held liable for any costs or penalties Respondent may incur as a result of Respondent’s efforts to comply with this Agreed Order.


17.         Nothing in this Agreed Order shall prevent or limit IDEM’s rights to obtain penalties or injunctive relief under any applicable Federal or State law or regulation, except that IDEM may not, and hereby waives its right to, seek additional civil penalties for the same violations specified in the Notice of Violation.


18.         Nothing in this Agreed Order shall prevent IDEM (or anyone acting on its behalf) from communicating with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) or any other agency or entity about any matters relating to this enforcement action. IDEM or anyone acting on its behalf shall not be held liable for any costs or penalties Respondent may incur as a result of such communications with the US EPA or any other agency or entity.


19.         This Agreed Order shall remain in effect until Respondent has complied with the terms and conditions of this Agreed Order and IDEM issues a Resolution of Case (close out) letter to Respondent.






Department of Environmental Management

East Chicago Sanitary District




Samantha K. Groce, Chief


Water Enforcement Section


Surface Water, Operations &


Enforcement Branch


Office of Water Quality



















MANAGEMENT THIS ___________ DAY OF ________________, 20___.



For The Commissioner:



Signed on January 31, 2019


Martha Clark Mettler


Assistant Commissioner


Office of Water Quality