- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Two companies have agreed to assess and improve 18 Mississippi wastewater treatment facilities and wastewater collection and transmission systems that were accused of releasing untreated raw sewage and other waste in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced the proposed consent decree Wednesday. The agencies say the proposal would resolve Louisiana-based Total Environmental Solutions Inc.’s liability for violations at the facilities.

Utility Services LLC intends to buy the facilities from TESI and then assume the responsibility to stop the illegal sewage discharges at an estimated $1.07 million cost. The proposed consent decree also requires TESI to pay a civil penalty of $225,000.

The proposed agreement has been filed in the U.S. District Court in Gulfport, Miss. It’s subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

TESI owns and operates more than 200 wastewater facilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and North Carolina. In Mississippi, the facilities in the consent decree are:

- Seneca Hills Subdivision in Vancleave

- Timber Creek Apartments in Vicksburg

- Woodland Acres Subdivision in Florence

- Oak Harbor Subdivision in Pearlington in Hancock County

- Pleasant Valley Utility Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Oak Park Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Mill Creek Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Lower Woodville Estates in Natchez

- Lake Village Estates and Windance in Gulfport

- Villanova Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Dogwood Lake Estates in Vicksburg

- Sunset Subdivision in Starkville

- Blakely Sewage District Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Greenbriar Subdivision in Warren County

- Oak Grove Subdivision in Oak Grove

- Bernard Acres Subdivision in Vicksburg

- Serene Hills Subdivision in Hattiesburg in Lamar County

- Gulf Park, a satellite collection system that discharges its wastewater to Jackson County Utility Authority

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