City’s industrial waste laws updated

An update to legislation that sets the standard for the disposal of industrial waste was approved 8-0 Tuesday by the Pine Bluff City Council.

The ordinance came from Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility and updated the city ordinance that governs how local industries must pre-treat their wastewater before releasing it into the city sewer system. The update was required by the Environmental Protection Agency and outlined the regulations, permitting process and methods for PBWU to enforce the pre-treatment standards.

The local industries affected are: Aramark, Arcelor, Central Moloney, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Planters, Stant, Tyson, Union Pacific and Wheeling Machine.

PBWU Manager Ken Johnson has said the whole process is intended to keep pollution and heavy metals out of the city’s sewer system, the PBWU treatment ponds, Arkansas River and groundwater.

In other business, the council:

• Approved 8-0 an ordinance closing 100 feet of Wormack Street immediately west of Moreland Street.

• Tabled a resolution that would have appropriated funds for establishing a police substation/office at No. 28 School Street. City officials had advised the proposal was likely not legal.

• Approved 8-0 three resolutions appointing or reappointing members of the Jefferson County Port Authority Board of Directors: Joey Gieringer, Diane Tatum and Robert Luter.

• Approved 8-0 a budget adjustment closing out the 2011 fiscal year by balancing out line items in the city budget that had gone over by using funds from line items that were under budget. Finance Director Steve Miller said that most departments had enough unspent money to balance their accounts without having to take funds from other departments.

• Approved 7-1 a budget adjustment to carry over to the 2012 budget grant funds that were not used in 2011. Alderman Thelma Walker voted against the item.

• Approved 7-1 a budget adjustment to carry over to the 2012 budget grants funds in the Economic and Community Development Department that were not used in 2011. Walker voted no.

• Approved 8-0 an ordinance re-confirming the budget adjustments that were approved by the City Council during 2011 — a state requirement.

• Approved 8-0 a resolution condemning a list of about 20 structures and ordering their demolition.