ORT: OR out from under EPA order

(Oak Ridge Today) Five years and $17 million later, Oak Ridge has satisfied a federal administrative order that required the city to repair all sewer system overflows by the end of this month, officials announced Wednesday.

Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said he has received a “closure letter” from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stating the City’s Administrative Order pursuant to the Clean Water Act has been fulfilled, a press release said. The letter, signed by James Giattina, director the Water Protection Division at EPA’s regional office in Atlanta, states that the EPA Region 4 “has determined that the city has satisfied the requirements of the referenced order and hereby closes the order.” In 2010, the EPA filed an administrative order against the city for excess “Inflow and Infiltration” affecting the wastewater collection lines within the city’s primary service areas. The EPA considered the reported system overflows and piped overflows to be a violation of the Clean Water Act, the press release said. The administrative order contained various program requirements to eliminate the overflows, ensure adequate capacity system wide, and to develop a formal management, operation, and maintenance program, or MOM.

I am pleased to report that the challenge of the EPA administrative order charged against our city is over!” Watson said. “We have received written confirmation that we have done a substantial job in addressing the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency against Oak Ridge. The order is now closed and we can begin to maintain a consistent and ongoing maintenance effort of this important sewage infrastructure for the community.”

Watson added: “In the beginning, we searched for rational explanations to our problems and examined political and legal responses. However, in the end, the cooperative approach taken with EPA has yielded the results we wanted. I want to commend the City of Oak Ridge Utility staff under the overall direction of Public Works Director Gary Cinder and their diligent modernization efforts of our systems. We also wish to thank our City Council in providing the important political leadership needed during this process. From this point forward, the City of Oak Ridge will continue to improve and maintain the utility infrastructure as required by the Clean Water Act and improved through the major improvements made in these past few years.”

The city has invested more than $17 million to date in order to comply with the terms of the administrative order, the press release said.

For much more on this story, visit our partners at www.OakRidgeToday.com.

About Jim Miller

Check Also

Fairest of the Fair Winners

Congratulations to our 2024 Winners! Anderson County Fair Fairest of the Fair:Autumn Brooke Hill Fairest …

Sahifa Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.