Ann Arbor logo
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 15-1271    Version: 1 Name: 11/16/15 - Varnum Amendment 3 for WWTP NPDES Permit
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 11/16/2015 In control: City Council
On agenda: 11/16/2015 Final action: 11/16/2015
Enactment date: 11/16/2015 Enactment #: R-15-382
Title: Resolution to Approve Third Amendment with Varnum LLP for Legal Services to Contest the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Wastewater Treatment Plant ($100,000.00)
Attachments: 1. Varnum Amendment 3 final.pdf
Title
Resolution to Approve Third Amendment with Varnum LLP for Legal Services to Contest the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Wastewater Treatment Plant ($100,000.00)
Memorandum
Your approval is requested for the third amendment to the professional services agreement with Varnum LLP (Varnum) in the amount of $100,000.00 for legal services to contest the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). This amount also includes amounts to reimburse for expert witness services that will be paid by Varnum.

The lengthy history of the City's contest of its NPDES permit, including its collaboration with the Chelsea, Dexter, and Loch Alpine WWTPs, is set out in detail below. Although the contested case has been pending for a long time, it is finally going to a hearing before an MDEQ Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This third amendment to the professional services agreement with Varnum is intended to cover the contested case hearing and potential follow up activities that may be needed. The total amount of the agreement after the third amendment would be $385,500.00. These amounts are the City's share of the contracted services, which is 75%.

MDEQ issues NPDES permits to treatment plants that define the conditions each plant must meet to operate and discharge treated water to surface waters of Michigan. Since December 2000, MDEQ has issued three NPDES permits to the WWTP. Each of these permits included discharge limits for phosphorus based on a total maximum daily load (TMDL) developed by MDEQ to address nuisance growths of aquatic vegetation in Ford and Belleville Lakes. The City has exercised its right to contest each of these NPDES permits with legal assistance from Varnum as described and for the reasons presented below.

During late 1994, the Middle Huron Initiative (MHI) was undert...

Click here for full text