Justice Section, EPA and Indiana Amend Agreement with the Town of South Bend, Indiana to Handle Sewage and Wastewater | OPA

The U.S. Section of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA) and the Indiana Division of Environmental Management (IDEM) have agreed to amend a 2012 Clear H2o Act consent decree with the City of South Bend, Indiana.

The modification requires implementation of a revised extended-phrase prepare to lessen and take care of sewage and wastewater discharges to meet up with Indiana’s water high quality typical for E. coli. The revised strategy will enhance community well being, far better safeguard the St. Joseph River, a tributary of Lake Michigan, and reduce the price tag of compliance.

“This amendment provides South Bend time to revise its lengthy-term strategy to more reduce and deal with sewage and wastewater discharges to satisfy Indiana’s drinking water excellent common,” said Assistant Attorney Common Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Ecosystem and Pure Methods Division. “The revised plan and further time must improve community overall health and better shield the St. Joseph River, whilst also lowering expenditures for ratepayers.”

“This settlement benefits in a significant reduction in pollutant discharges to the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan, and also lessens expenditures for South Bend’s level payers,” mentioned Performing U.S. Attorney Tina Nommay for the Northern District of Indiana. “We thank the federal, condition and nearby authorities who partnered with us to obtain this fantastic end result.”

“Through the cooperative get the job done of federal, condition and local officers, this amended arrangement will lower dangerous wastewater discharges to the St. Joseph River and significantly lower expenditures for the citizens of South Bend,” reported Performing Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“This revised Extended-Phrase Management Approach final results in a reduction of sewage and wastewater to the St. Joseph River which enhances human overall health and the setting,” explained IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott. “The revised system is a wonderful case in point of the accomplishment we can achieve when federal, point out and regional companions do the job jointly to guarantee Indiana’s environment is safe for all Hoosiers.”

Prior to 2012, the Town of South Bend discharged more than 2 billion gallons of untreated human and industrial sewage and stormwater a yr, containing hugely concentrated amounts of E. coli microorganisms via merged sewer overflows, or CSOs, into the St. Joseph River. The 2012 consent decree necessary South Bend to lower discharges to 46.9 million gallons for each yr and minimize E. coli to 15,000 counts per 100 milliliters. Although a substantial enhancement, the E. coli discharge concentrations less than the initial system nonetheless would have exceeded Indiana’s E. coli water top quality common of 235 counts for each 100 milliliters. Underneath the revised system that will be thoroughly applied by 2038, South Bend will address nearly all of its once-a-year discharge volumes to concentrations underneath Indiana’s water high quality conventional for E. coli and preserve hundreds of millions of pounds in compliance fees.

The revised approach involves the subsequent:

  • Growth of South Bend’s present-day sewage remedy plant
  • Building of a few retention therapy amenities
  • Substitution or modification of many sewers

South Bend estimates that the revised approach will price tag close to $276 million in 2019 dollars, considerably significantly less than the $700 million or more that South Bend estimates would be the cost to put into practice the remaining steps required less than the 2012 consent decree. South Bend was capable to develop the revised program in huge section since it installed additional than 150 “smart” sensors at additional than a hundred places in its sewer program to enable it to improved monitor and control its flows. This “smart sewer system” allows South Bend to assemble much less and scaled-down-sized gray infrastructure actions and, at the same time, obtain a higher level of air pollution control.

The proposed amended consent decree is topic to a 30-day public comment period of time and last courtroom acceptance soon after it is released in the Federal Register. To perspective the proposed amended consent decree or to post a comment, stop by the Office of Justice site at: www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.