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Pratt to cover EPD fines, costs
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Rockdale County recently announced it finalized its agreement with Pratt Industries for Pratt to pay for the remaining costs of a 2010 sewage overflow that brought sanctions by the state's Environmental Protection Division.

Pratt will pay about $182,000 for the operational costs involved in the incident, in addition to $373,000 it already paid. Pratt and sewage plant operator ESG previously agreed to cover the $700,000 cost of the incident, according to a released statement from the county.

Rockdale Water Resources Director Dwight Wicks said, “The agreement ended up not costing the ratepayers of Rockdale County any money. We certainly thought it was satisfactory. We were pleased Pratt took the forefront.”

RWR operates a pre-treatment unit for the discharged from Pratt Industries, which makes recycled paper box products. Wicks said RWR had changed the procedure by implementing more tests, change operational plan, doing more preventative checks on the unit, and doing a scheduled shut down periodically.

 “We’ve beefed up the operation in exchange for Pratt taking care of the financials,” said Wicks.

This agreement was reached after numerous technical and informational meetings between RWR, Pratt Industries and ESG Operations Inc, the contractors that operate the pre-treatment unit and RWR’s other treatment plants.

“Rockdale County and ESG officials are extremely pleased with the finalization of this agreement as it signals a strong vote of confidence from Pratt Industries in the county management team entrusted to operate one of its most important and critical facilities” said County Commission Chairman Richard Oden.

The Environmental Protection Division issued fines to the county after the pre-treatment unit, which brings the paper plant’s industrial discharge to a level comparable with domestic sewage, failed in February 2010. During that time, full-strength industrial discharge was going directly into the Quigg wastewater treatment plant, which was able to handle the load at first, said Wicks in a previous interview. After about two weeks, the plant became overloaded.

The UASB also previously failed in 2002 for different causes.