By Colin Connor, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
In December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the City of Gary (Gary), and the Gary Sanitation District (Sanitation District) entered into a consent decree to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations. Gary has twelve combined sewer outfalls that discharge untreated sewage into local waterways when the wastewater system overflows. Pursuant to the agreement, Gary will pay a $75,000 civil fine and take corrective actions to manage sewage overflows, including the development of a long-term control plan to limit overflows. The agreement also requires that Gary ensure its wastewater treatment plant sufficiently treats wastewater during precipitation events. Gary will also remove invasive plants and restore native plants to a contaminated area near the Grand Calumet River. Finally, Gary agreed to address PCB contamination at the Ralston Street Lagoon. For more information, Gary’s consent decree can be located here.
As many of you know, Indianapolis and Citizens Energy are currently constructing the Dig Indy tunnel storage system as part of a consent decree to address combined sewage overflows. It will be interesting to see the effects of Gary’s and Indianapolis’ combined sewage overflow reduction plans in the future.
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