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May 3, 2014

Middleport hearing to address 'slug loads'

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A public hearing will be held in the Village of Middleport at the next board meeting on May 19 at 7 p.m. to address a change in the village’s Sewer Use Code.

The hearing stems from a five-year, “routine” audit the Environmental Protection Agency conducts on the village, said Rebecca Schweigert, village clerk. In the audit, the EPA advised the village to address slug loads in the village’s Enforcement Response Plan For Enforcement of Pretreatment Regulations. In order to do that, the village has to define what a slug load is in the village’s Sewer Use Code. A public hearing is required anytime the village’s codes are changed. 

Schweigert said a slugload is, “ ... when an unexpected burst of liquid is released into the sewer system which could cause problems.”

Slug loads are infrequent, Schweigert said, adding that when Niagara Foods was operating, the chances of a slug load happening were higher.

“The EPA simply wants the worst case scenario addressed if it ever does,” she said.

Depending on what is released in a slug load, the village may take no action, or they may impose a fine and have the offender cease operations, Schweigert said. 

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