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Feds Accept Regional Sewage Strategy

03/11/2019
Feds Accept Regional Sewage Strategy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds a proposed regional sewage flow management strategy acceptable, putting to rest Administrative Orders dating back to 2007.

In a letter written to the City of Allentown and Lehigh County Authority (LCA) dated today, the EPA finds that the city, LCA and area municipalities with wastewater flowing to the treatment plant on Allentown’s Kline’s Island have completed the requirements of two administrative orders to remedy an issue with sewage flowing into local waterways during heavy rain storms.

The city, LCA and the municipalities submitted a plan to the EPA last August to find and stop leaks and to manage flows through the sanitary sewer system. The acceptable plan is expected to save the city as much as $11 million over a previously submitted plan.

“The negotiations with the EPA and the effort to put together an acceptable plan have been many years in the making,” said Allentown Public Works Director Craig Messinger. “All the parties deserve some credit for their perseverance and willingness to consider all avenues to eventually arrive at a successful conclusion.”

According to the letter, the “Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) will be the lead agency to oversee compliance assurance activities; however, EPA will continue to monitor the jurisdictions' implementation of the regional flow management strategy. Please note that any noncompliance with the NPDES Permit or Clean Water Act (CWA) could result in the initiation of further review and action pursuant to federal enforcement provisions.”

The signatories to the plan are the City of Allentown; Salisbury, Upper Milford, South Whitehall, Lower Macungie, Upper Macungie and Hanover townships; Emmaus and Alburtis boroughs and Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority.

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