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The Hoback RV settlement's next steps are under investigation

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The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has reached a settlement agreement with the Hoback RV park in Teton County over groundwater violations that could potentially lead to sewage and wastewater leaking into nearby water supplies.

Crowley Capital, LLC, the RV park owner, will invest $300,000 in local water treatment projects, such as a new water district for the Hoback area. A water district is a public agency that handles sewage and water distribution.

Lily Barkau, Groundwater Manager with DEQ, said Hoback is located south of Jackson, which is a very desirable area, so adequate drainage and leach fields are needed for incoming populations.

"So, this particular area, I mean, it's a desirable area, where they're living, so everyone wants to live there, and you've got to put in the infrastructure as part of that," she said.

Barkau also said the groundwater in the area needs more investigation to see what impact the unregulated sewage disposal has caused, but findings so far look good.

"Preliminary data is not indicating that, which certainly is good. Any impacts from the discharge would be more localized or didn't fully occur," said Barkau. "But we do have a separate investigation going on. And hopefully, that report will be out sometime later this year."

Barkau said Crowley Capital, which obtained the property in 2019, was notified of the groundwater violation in 2020 and has been cooperative in bettering water treatment at Hoback. She said they offered those being relocated off the RV park discounted rent while they find a new place to stay.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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