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.” [Read more…]