Via Certified Mail No.:

Via Certified Mail No.:



Scott Salsberry, Superintendent

Micheal Couch, Registered Agent

Lawrence Utilities LLC

Lawrence Utilities LLC

9201 Harrison Park Court

9105 East 56 Street, Suite 2100

Lawrence, Indiana  46216

Indianapolis, Indiana 46216


Case No. 2020-26949-W


Pursuant to Indiana Code (IC) 13-30-3-3, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issues this Notice of Violation.  Based on an investigation, IDEM has reason to believe that Lawrence Utilities LLC (Respondent) has violated environmental rules. The violations are based on the following:


1.               Respondent owns/operates a wastewater collection system which provides service to the City of Lawrence in Marion County, Indiana (the Site).


2.               On October 14, 2019, an estimated 50,000 gallons of sewage overflowed from a manhole next to Lift Station No. 19. The lift station was under repair at the time of the spill and as a result of a malfunction sewage overflowed from the manhole into Indian Creek.  Dead fish were reportedly observed in Indian Creek.  A spill response action was taken by the Respondent, which included the removal of dead fish and solid debris, and the disinfecting of soil with the application of lime to the ground surface.  On November 21, 2019, IDEM conducted a reconnaissance inspection at the site of the incident.


3.               Pursuant to IC 13-18-4-5, a person may not: (1) throw, run, drain, or otherwise dispose; or (2) cause, permit, or suffer to be thrown, run, drained, allowed to seep, or otherwise disposed; into any of the streams or waters of Indiana any organic or inorganic matter that causes or contributes to a polluted condition of any of the streams or waters of Indiana.


Pursuant to IC 13-30-2-1(1), it is unlawful for any person to discharge, emit, cause or allow any contaminant or waste, including any noxious odor, either alone or in combination with contaminants from other sources in the environment in any form that causes or would cause pollution that violates or would violate rules, standards, or discharge or emission requirements adopted by the appropriate board under the environmental management laws.


Pursuant to 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1), all surface waters at all times and at all places, including the mixing zone, shall meet the minimum conditions of being free from substances, materials, floating debris, oil or scum attributable to municipal, industrial, agricultural, and other land use practices or other discharges that do any of the following:


a.       will settle to form putrescent or otherwise objectionable deposits;

b.       are in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or deleterious;

c.       produce color, visible oil sheen, odor, or other conditions in such degree as to create a nuisance;

d.       are in concentrations or combinations that will cause or contribute to the growth of aquatic plants or algae to such degree as to create a nuisance, be unsightly, or otherwise impair the designated uses; and

e.       are in amounts sufficient to be acutely toxic to, or to otherwise severely injure or kill aquatic life, other animals, plants, or humans.


During the inspection on November 21, 2019, IDEM staff observed the incident scene and documented that 50,000 gallons of sewage overflowed from a manhole adjacent to Lift Station No. 19 into Indian Creek resulting in water quality violations and a fish kill, in violation of IC 13-18-4-5, IC 13-30-2-1(1), and 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1).


4.               Pursuant to 327 IAC 2-6.1-7, any person who operates, controls, or maintains a facility from which a spill occurs shall notify IDEM as soon as possible but within two (2) hours of discovery.


Respondent failed to notify IDEM of the spill of 50,000 gallons of sewage into the Indian Creek within two (2) hours of discovery, which resulted in a fish kill in Indian Creek, in violation of 327 IAC 2-6.1-7.


In accordance with IC 13-30-3-3, the Commissioner herein provides notice that violations may exist and offers an opportunity to enter into an Agreed Order providing for the actions required to correct the violations and, as necessary and appropriate, for the payment of a civil penalty. The Commissioner is not required to extend this offer for more than 60 days.


As provided in IC 13-30-3-3, an alleged violator may enter into an Agreed Order without admitting that the violations occurred. IDEM encourages settlement by Agreed Order, thereby resulting in quicker correction of the environmental violations and avoidance of extensive litigation. Timely settlement by Agreed Order may result in a reduced civil penalty. Also, settlement discussions will allow the opportunity to present any mitigating factors that may be relevant to the violations.


If an Agreed Order is not entered into within 60 days of receipt of this Notice of Violation, the Commissioner may issue a Notice and Order under IC 13-30-3-4 containing the actions that must be taken to correct the violations and requiring the payment of an appropriate civil penalty. Pursuant to IC 13-30-4-1, the Commissioner may assess penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation.


Please contact Patrick Colcord at (317) 232-8432 or within 15 days after receipt of this Notice to discuss resolution of this matter.



For the Commissioner:



Signed on June 25, 2020


Samantha K. Groce, Chief

Enforcement Section

Surface Water, Operations &

Enforcement Branch

Office of Water Quality


cc:    Marion County Health Department