Sunday, June 03, 2001

Riverboat cited for sewage releases

The Associated Press

        BRIDGEPORT, Ind. — State environmental regulators have cited the Caesars riverboat casino for major waste-water discharge violations that sent improperly treated sewage into the Ohio River.

        Regulators said the problem stems from the large volume of grease and oil entering the riverboat's waste-water treatment process from its four restaurants.

        The company has been ordered to submit a plan for correcting the problems within 10 days.

        Caesars spokeswoman Judy Hess said the company had not seen the state's notice, and therefore can't comment until it had been reviewed.

        The action was trigged by a citizen's complaint on April 30, and on Thursday IDEM sent Caesars the noncompliance letter ordering the company to produce the corrective plan, said Len Ashack, chief of permits and compliance for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

        The letter said Caesars had violated state law by discharging inadequately treated waste into the river.

        The enforcement action marks the first time in nearly two years that Caesars has been found in violation of an environmental permit.

        Under IDEM regulations, after such a warning of noncompliance is issued, regulators review the proposed compliance efforts.

        If the response isn't adequate, the agency can use other tools — cease-and-desist orders, a court injunction or, eventually, fines — to ensure problems are corrected.


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