In a report from WWLTV, The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that Tammany Utilities failed to properly report sewerage spills in St. Tammany Parish. Representative Paul Hollis announced that he plans to create a task force during the 2018 Legislative Session to identify “inept government entities like Tammany Utilities” and recommend solutions.
Tammany Utilities’ poor performance predates the sale of the sewerage and water company to the Parish, which happened under the leadership of former St. Tammany Parish President, former Director of the invitation-only Northshore Business Council and current Slidell City Mayoral candidate, Kevin Davis.
“In December 2005, SELA pled guilty to a felony violation of the Federal Clean Water Act and agreed to pay a $2.1 million fine for improperly operating sewer systems throughout southwestern St. Tammany Parish and polluting local waterways over an 11-year period. On March 29, 2006, SELA was sentenced in Federal District Court pursuant to the plea agreement to five years probation and fined $2.1 million for violating the Federal Clean Water Act. The fine was reported to be ‘the largest single corporate environmental criminal fine ever in Louisiana.’”
“Before the Parish purchases the SELA System, we (appraiser R.W. Beck) recommend that the Parish have a detailed environmental investigation performed to identify potential future liabilities. Once the Parish takes ownership of the SELA System, it will own the environmental problems and the regulators will no longer hold SELA accountable. It is recommended that an escrow fund be created from the proceeds of the sale to cover any future potential non-compliance costs that may arise resulting from violations that occurred under existing SELA ownership.” – Appraisal Report, Southeastern Louisiana Water & Sewer Co., LLC, Prepared for St. Tammany Parish, Oct. 2006