U.S. and Tennessee Announce Clean Water Act Agreement with City of Chattanooga
The U.S. EPA and Tennessee recently announced a Clean Water Act settlement with the city of Chattanooga
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General announced July 17 a comprehensive Clean Water Act (CWA) settlement with the city of Chattanooga, Tenn.
Chattanooga has agreed to pay a $476,400 civil penalty and make improvements to its sewer systems, estimated by the city at $250 million, to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage. Chattanooga has also agreed to implement a green infrastructure plan and perform an $800,000 stream restoration project.
A consent decree filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Chattanooga resolves claims for injunctive relief and civil penalties for Chattanooga’s alleged violations of the CWA and the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act.
The proposed consent decree will require Chattanooga to comprehensively assess and rehabilitate its entire sewer collection system to eliminate overflows of untreated raw sewage. Specifically, Chattanooga will perform rehabilitation projects to address known problems within the collection system; implement programs to ensure proper management, operation and maintenance of its sewer systems; and install additional controls on the Chattanooga Creek combined sewer outfalls to ensure compliance with water quality standards.
Chattanooga has also agreed to perform a stream restoration supplemental environmental project at a cost of $800,000 to restore the stream and stabilize the banks of a tributary of the South Chickamauga Creek and eliminate a significant source of sediment and solids to the creek. Half of the civil penalty will be paid to the U.S. At the direction of the state, the other half of the civil penalty will be paid by Chattanooga through the performance of green infrastructure demonstration projects in the historic downtown Highland Park neighborhood.
Keeping raw sewage and contaminated storm water out of the waters of the U.S. is one of the EPA’s national enforcement initiatives for 2011 to 2013. The initiative focuses on reducing sewer overflows. These reductions are accomplished by obtaining commitments from municipalities to implement timely, affordable solutions to these problems, including the increased use of green infrastructure and other innovative approaches.
The U.S. has reached similar agreements with municipalities across the country. The proposed consent decree with Chattanooga is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval before becoming effective.
More information about the Chattanooga Clean Water Act settlement can be found here.
More like this
- U.S., Tenn. Announce Clean Water Act Agreement with Memphis
- Jeffersonville, Ind., to Upgrade Sewer Systems
- South Bend, Ind., to Improve Sewer System to Reduce Overflows into Lake Michigan Tributary
- Settlement With Revere, Mass., Addresses Wastewater, Storm Water Discharges
- Feds, State of Mississippi Announce Clean Water Act Settlement