EPA announces proposed agreement to solve alleged Clean Water Act violations

Feb. 12, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — The alleged Clean Water Act violations involve discharges of polluted stormwater and sewer overflows to Paxton Creek and Susquehanna River, both part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed partial settlement with co-plaintiff Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Capital Region Water and the city of Harrisburg to resolve alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations, according to a press release.

The alleged CWA violations involve discharges of polluted stormwater and sewer overflows to Paxton Creek and Susquehanna River, stated the release.

The release reported that the agreement will help protect people’s health and the two waterways, as well as ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Capital Region Water, under the proposed settlement, will take significant steps to improve the maintenance and operation of Harrisburg’s wastewater and stormwater collection systems, including construction upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, reported the release.

These upgrades, continued the release, will substantially reduce nitrogen pollution discharges from the plant, currently Susquehanna River’s largest point-source of nitrogen pollution, and Capital Region Water will also conduct “a comprehensive assessment of existing conditions within its combined sewer system” as well as develop a long-term control plan to reduce sewer overflows.

Under the partial agreement, the work is projected to be completed within a timeframe of around five years, and cost about $82 million, noted the release.

“This settlement reflects EPA’s commitment to an integrated approach for tackling multiple sewer and stormwater overflow problems, and helping Pennsylvania meet the nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals for improving its local waters and restoring a healthy Chesapeake Bay,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This phased approach for controlling combined sewer overflows over time includes some early action projects to reduce pollution now, while conducting further assessment and planning for long-term solutions.”

Read the entire release here.

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