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Sewage Overflow

Washington, DC: (Jan-21-08) The Justice Department, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), brought charges against the city of Fort Wayne, IN, alleging that the city failed to comply with monitoring and reporting requirements of its permit. The suit further alleged the city failed to meet effluent limitations at the pipe leading from the city's wastewater treatment plant, exceeding the limitations and conditions in the city's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, thus violating the Clean Water Act.

As part of a settlement reached, the city agreed to pay an estimated $250 million towards making improvements to resolve long standing problems with overflows from its sewer system. The city's sewer system, which serves approximately 220,000 people, transports the city's sewage for treatment at a wastewater treatment plant prior to discharging it into area rivers and streams. Overflows from the city's collection system discharge raw sewage directly into rivers and streams and can be a major source of water pollution. Fort Wayne's overflows currently number approximately 60 per year.

The settlement will help reduce the number of overflows to approximately one per year on the St. Joseph River and four per year on the St. Mary's and Maumee Rivers. The city also will pay a penalty of $538,380, which will be divided evenly between the United States and the state of Indiana. The city also has agreed to spend $400,000 on a supplemental environmental project to eliminate failing septic systems, and the city can reduce the portion of the penalty to be paid to the state by undertaking further reductions in the number of failing septic systems. [POLLUTION ONLINE: SEWAGE OVERFLOW]

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Published on Jan-22-08


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