News Column

MUPB updated on alleged violations

June 30, 2014

By Brad Stacy, The Morehead News, Ky.



June 30--The Morehead Utility Plant Board was updated Monday by General Manager Mike Nickell on alleged risk management violations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an inspection of the MUPB water treatment plant risk management plan (RMP) on March 21, 2013.

The inspection report identified several potential RMP violations and sent that report to MUPB in December 2013.

"We continue to pull together information for the EPA," said Nickell. "We feel very confident in the steps we are taking and we are working with them to give them all the information they need."

The EPA inspection report contained 10 findings where the MUPB RMP allegedly did not comply with specific requirements.

Nickell said this will be a lengthy process but they are more than willing to comply with all requests.

"It will most likely take some time to work through this process," he said. "We have already completed another process hazard analysis (PHA) correcting all the items that we have found as well as all those the items that were found in the original citation from the Kentucky Division of Water."

Nickell said he has been talking to employees at the water treatment plant and they feel confident that appropriate actions are being taken.

"We certainly responded to them in a timely fashion," he continued. "It was due today (Monday) and we turned it in last week."

As a result of the alleged violations, MUPB may negotiate a settlement to resolve the claims noted in the EPA inspection. Any settlement would likely require a payment of a civil penalty.

Porter Dailey, MUPB chair, said he believes that they should be eligible for a break regarding the monetary penalty due to the financial burden of the flood of 2010.

"It would seem to me that if the EPA is willing to consider the financial condition of the organization to void any penalties then we would certainly qualify," said Dailey. "It just seems like it would make sense considering the hit we took from the flood."

Nickell said that the EPA has said they would consider the situation but has yet to respond.

In other business, MUPB members unanimously reelected Dailey as chair, elected Russ Ward as vice chair and renamed Nickell as secretary.

The board also created a new position in the maintenance department, an assistant maintenance superintendent.

Nickell said he would promote within the MUPB and that another position will not be added to the payroll.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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(c)2014 The Morehead News (Morehead, Ky.)

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Source: Morehead News, The (KY)


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