The St. Clair Board of Aldermen approved a contract with a firm that will help improve and maintain the city’s pretreatment program at Monday’s meeting.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of hiring KimHEC Environmental Consulting for approximately $20,000.

The firm will provide guidance to city officials with staying updated on new rules and regulations of the pretreatment program as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), according to City Administrator Travis Dierker.

The pretreatment program is for companies that produce waste containing high levels of zinc, iron and other chemicals through the wastewater treatment system.

St. Clair’s original pretreatment program was implemented more than 20 years ago and although city officials have worked to improve the program, assistance is still needed, according to Dierker.

“We’re still to a point where we’re needing some expertise and guidance with regards to making sure that we’re meeting all of the continued upgrades and updates to regulations set for by DNR and the EPA,” he said.

Extra funds in the budget will go toward paying for the service, but most of the expenses will not occur until after Jan. 1, 2020, according to Dierker.

Aldermen Art Viehland asked if City Inspector Mike Bursey still fulfills his responsibilities in the pretreatment program. Dierker replied that Bursey still does his pretreatment job duties, which include submitting samples and reports to DNR.

“We’re at a stage now where our entire program needs to update to the new guidelines and regulations, and update all of the permits with the new local limits,” he said.

According to the city documents, KimHEC will develop a schedule and plan to correct the deficiencies noted in the October pretreatment inspection report documented by DNR;

Assist in compliance determinations, enforcement actions and annual pretreatment report modifications as necessary based on the DNR inspection report and a review of 2019 reporting periods;

Update industrial user permits including categorical determinations, pollutants of concern, permit limit calculations such as the combined water stream formula where applicable, monitoring locations and monitoring frequencies;

Perform and document annual inspections with follow-ups, review and update pretreatment component limits including hexavelent, chromium, copper and others;

Develop permits, inspection forms, fact sheets and applications, provide legal authority updates/revisions; perform inspections;

Issue permits, monitor review reports, violation assistance, sample plan development, perform data evaluations and tracking of biosolids; train St. Clair staff, and assist during regulator inspections.