The city of Elyria, Ohio, has entered into a consent decree with the United States and the State of Ohio to complete a series of capital projects designed to eliminate discharges of untreated sewage from its sewer system into the Black River, 10 miles upstream from Lake Erie.
The projects that Elyria has agreed to implement will significantly increase the amount of wastewater that receives treatment and prevent overflows from sanitary and combined sewer outfalls when the system becomes overloaded. When completed, the water quality of the Black River, around which the City of Elyria is situated, will be greatly improved. Elyria is expected to spend nearly $250 million to improve its sewer system. It will also pay a civil penalty of $100,000 to the United States and pay $100,000 to Ohio’s Surface Water Improvement Fund.
The consent decree would resolve the violations alleged in the underlying complaint filed by the United States and the state of Ohio. The complaint alleges that Elyria’s sanitary sewers overflowed on more than 1,100 occasions since 2011, resulting in discharges of untreated sewage into the Black River or a tributary to the river. The complaint also alleges that Elyria failed to comply with a previous court order to stop these illegal discharges.
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