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Wastewater company with history of problems intends to sell

1 year 10 months 1 week ago July 16, 2015 Jul 16, 2015 Thursday, July 16 2015 July 16, 2015 9:53 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Brittany Weiss

BATON ROUGE - A wastewater treatment company hit with dozens of compliance issues seeks to exit the business altogether, the Investigative Unit has learned.

Mo-Dad Utilities, LLC intends to find a buyer, which will impact more than a hundred neighborhoods in multiple parishes.

The Investigative Unit first reported about Mo-Dad in 2013.  It was uncovered the company had violations dating back to 2006. The Department of Environmental Quality is requiring the owners to upgrade the system since DEQ found fecal coliform levels more than 10 times the limit in Lake Pointe Subdivision in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Inspectors also found another Mo-Dad facility operating without a permit in the Belle Terre neighborhood in Livingston Parish.

The issues were part of a 277-page compliance order given to Mo-Dad in 2012.  Since, Mo-Dad has been working to bring its facilities to compliance. To off-set the costs, the company went before the Public Service Commission to ask for a rate hike in 2014.  The increase was approved.

Thursday, in Oak Clusters Subdivision, residents said they have seen work being done the Mo-Dad facility there.  But, they believe more improvements need to be made.

"There's always a hum. You can always hear it," said Jennifer Jackson. "We don't want to hear the Mo-Dad running and we don't want to smell sewage."

In a letter Mo-Dad sent to DEQ, the company alerted the state that it has hired its own consultant and after recent samplings, is convinced many of the repair orders issued by DEQ are no longer necessary to complete.

DEQ told WBRZ in response to the Mo-Dad letter, "DEQ is currently discussing the potential acquisition with Mo-Dad. Mo-Dad will either have to settle with DEQ or liability for the enforcement action will transfer to the new owner. The current order remains in effect and Mo-Dad remains responsible for complying with the order."

A couple years ago, Mo-Dad sold off a number of its facilities to Livingston Parish Sewer District 2. Any repairs to those facilities became the responsibility of the new owner.

A phone call to Mo-Dad Utilities for comment was not returned Thursday.

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