Settlement resolves Clean Water Act violations of untreated raw sewage overflows

Sept. 11, 2013

ATLANTA — Columbia has agreed to implement extensive improvements to its sanitary sewer system at an estimated cost of $750 million.

ATLANTA — The Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a proposed settlement with the city of Columbia, S.C. to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage, according to a press release.

Columbia has agreed to undertake a thorough assessment of, and implement extensive improvements to, its sanitary sewer system at an estimated cost of $750 million, noted the release.

In addition, Columbia will implement a $1 million supplemental environmental project to restore streams, reduce flooding and improve water quality in segments of Rocky Branch, Smith Branch and Gills Creek, waterways that run through historically low income and minority neighborhoods, stated the release.

“This settlement will bring badly needed improvements to Columbia’s aging sewer infrastructure, reduce the dangers of sewage contamination and improve the quality of waterways in historically disadvantaged communities,” said Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “It is good news for human health and the environment of South Carolina’s capital city today and for future generations.”

Read the entire press release here.