Work on lowering levels of selenium in water for Casper, WY, will be put to the test in 2018 when the city’s wastewater treatment plant will have to apply for a new permit from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
According to the Casper Star-Tribune, if the agency finds that selenium levels are higher than normal, then Casper will have to construct a new facility in order to remove the chemical, which could cost the city nearly $50 million.
“We have been very concerned about pending potential EPA regulations that might require us to make some major upgrades,” Councilman Charlie Powell told the Tribune at a council meeting last month.
Though DEQ gives permits to wastewater plants, the agency relies on U.S. EPA guidelines. Small levels of selenium can be healthy, however, while high levels of the metal can be toxic, not only to humans but aquatic life as well.