By Carolyn Roy, News Editor
The Tenth Judicial District Court has found in favor of the La. Dept. of Health (LDH) in a suit filed against the Village of Clarence over violations of the State Sanitary Code relating to the sewerage system. Those violations were found while Tommy Evans was mayor.
A spokesperson for the La. Dept. of Health said that long as there’s an effort made to comply with an order, LDH doesn’t pursue further enforcement actions.
In the case of the Village of Clarence, current Mayor Tamela Chapman is working toward compliance, so LDH won’t pursue any penalties or court-ordered actions. However, if the Village fails to come into compliance, LDH would file a Rule for Contempt with the court.
According to the suit, an administrative order was first served to the village Dec. 11, 2014, following an inspection by LDH personnel.
An inspection found that the sewerage system was not being maintained, sewage disposal in a manner compliant with the Sanitary Code was not being provided, aerators at the oxidation ponds were not operational, an access road was not provided to the oxidation ponds, excessive vegetation was growing on the levees of the oxidation pond cells, no chlorine was being provided for the effluent discharge and there was no lock for the Clark Road lift station.
Further inspections April 25, 2017, and Aug. 18, 2017, listed the following violations:
•Sewage disposal in a manner which is compliancy with the Sanitary Code was not being provided.
•Raw sewage was being discharged from the lift station located at the Clarence Sewage System oxidation pond.
•The sewerage system was not being properly operated and maintained. Aerators for the oxidation pond and lift station were not operational.
•The system was not being operated by a duly-certified wastewater operator as required.
•The lift station located near the oxidation pond did not have an operational audio and visual warning system.
•The lift station located at the oxidation pond was not accessible.
•Warning signs were not posted at the oxidation pond.
•Excessive vegetation was growing on the levees of the oxidation pond and around the lift station and the oxidation pond was completely covered in overgrowth and trees are growing around the pond.
•The oxidation pond was discharging without the effluent being disinfected.
•The lift station at Clark Road was not locked
. •An all-weather road was not provided for the oxidation pond and lift station.
According to the order, violations may result in civil fines of up to $100 per day per violator up to a maximum of $10,000.