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Environment


Akron dumps out of tentative sewer deal
Consent decree was awaiting judge's OK, but city says it has options.
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Akron had a tentative deal with the EPA, but a federal judge has withheld approval.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
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In The Region:

Akron is walking away from a multi-million-dollar and and multi-year plan to fix the problem with its combined sewer system. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a problem that plagues a lot of Northeast Ohio cities.

LISTEN: Sewer deal ditched

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The city has been working on its sewer problems for two decades. And it has a tentative deal with the U.S. and Ohio EPAs to fix the sewers so billions of gallons of raw sewage doesn’t flow into rivers when heavy rains fall. But U.S. District Judge John Adams has not signed off on the deal for the last two years, instead hiring a consultant to ensure it is stringent enough.

Now Akron Mayor Don  Plusquellic is withdrawing the plan. Plusquellic says in the intervening years, the U.S. EPA has allowed cities to come up with new integrated plans that give them more options

The cost of the original plan started out at $370 million and is now about $1.4 billion. And Plusquellic says – given the lack of certainty on whether the judge will sign off on that plan, looking at other options makes sense.

Plusquellic says he’s met with EPA and Justice Department officials to discuss other options.

Many older communities are facing massive upgrades in their storm sewers that were designed to let stormwater and raw sewage mix on what were then rare occasions of downpours and flooding. But such flooding has become more common.

 


Related WKSU Stories

Akron awaits massive sewer plan approval
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

With no approval yet for a sewer rebuild, Akron is taking what steps it can
Monday, April 9, 2012

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