Bad River Tribe Completes Upgrades To Wastewater Treatment Plant

Facility Had Been In Violation Of Clean Water Act Prior To Changes


A northern Wisconsin tribe is moving back into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after addressing Clean Water Act violations at its wastewater treatment facilities.

The Bad River tribe received a compliance plan in 2013 after discharging excess levels of phosphorous, E. coli and other contaminants from its treatment facilities. Bad River completed upgrades last month.

Bad River Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins said they’ve been asking the EPA for more help to oversee their system.

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“We do 70,000 gallons of effluent a day. We understand that we have a huge responsibility to make sure that those 70,000 gallons are clean. That’s what we’re working for,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins drew criticism over the violations from the conservative group Media Trackers in 2013 after being an outspoken critic of the mining company Gogebic Taconite’s proposed iron mine and the effect it may have on water.

An EPA spokeswoman said they’ll monitor reports over the next few months to make sure Bad River is in compliance with the Clean Water Act.