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E-M:/ Toledo sewer discharges

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 11:05:08 -0400
Subject: [ocorelink] Enforcement and Compliance Update
To: "ocorelink" <ocorelink@lists.epa.gov>
From: "Virginia Bueno" <bueno.virginia@epamail.epa.gov>
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Enforcement and Compliance Update: Sept. 3, 2002


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice, the Environmental
Protection Agency and the state of Ohio announced on Aug. 28, 2002, the
federal court filing of a Clean Water Act settlement in which the city of
Toledo, Ohio, agrees to make extensive improvements to its sewage
treatment plant and its sewage collection and transportation system. The
improvements are expected to cost at least $433 million over the next 14

"This settlement is a great victory for the environment and the public,
and it demonstrates that when the states and the federal government work
together, even the most difficult and long-standing environmental problems
can be solved," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the
Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

"EPA's agreement with Toledo will improve public health and local
waterways by eliminating nearly 800 million gallons of raw sewage
overflows annually," said John Peter Suarez, EPA's Assistant Administrator
for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "The settlement also ensures
cleaner water well into the future through an upgraded wastewater
treatment system."

The settlement requires the city of Toledo to end its long-standing
practice of discharging raw sewage into Swan Creek and the Maumee and
Ottawa Rivers. Government experts concluded that these discharges, of up
to a billion gallons a year of untreated sewage, may create unsafe
conditions for swimmers and others, as well as causing severe biological
problems like deformities in fish.

Under the settlement, Toledo will more than double sewage treatment
capacity, build a basin to hold excess sewage and improve the sewage
collection and treatment system. These activities, to be carried out under
federal and state supervision, should eliminate most of the raw sewage
discharges from the city's treatment plant and sewers, even during peak
flow times. Because of the high cost of this work, the city held a special
referendum on July 9, 2002 in which the voters overwhelmingly approved the
settlement  78 percent voted in favor.

In addition to the sewer-system repairs, the city will pay a $500,000
penalty and spend at least $1 million to undertake two environmental
improvement projects: restoring and providing public access to wetlands in
the Duck Creek basin near the east bank of the Maumee River, and cleaning
up contaminated properties near the Ottawa River to allow for further
business development in an area of newly developed industrial enterprises.

"This agreement reflects a joint effort to correct a long-standing
problem," said Ohio Attorney General Betty D.
Montgomery. "We applaud the city's willingness to commit to a long-term
solution that will benefit citizens and the

"For years, Toledo has struggled to address environmentally damaging sewer
overflows," said Ohio EPA Director Christopher Jones. "This settlement
will result in a dramatic improvement in the health of Northwest Ohio's

The Justice Department and EPA, often joined by the states, are taking an
active lead in municipal Clean Water Act enforcement and have already
entered into settlements with numerous municipalities including Atlanta,
Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Honolulu, Miami, New Orleans, San Diego,
Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, Jefferson County, Ala. and Mobile,

The proposed consent decree was filed today in U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio and is subject to a 30-day public comment
For more news and information from the Office of Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance, visit: http://www.epa.gov/compliance

We encourage you to share this message with your colleagues.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates  http://my.voyager.net/ajs/sagady.pdf

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste/Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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