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Attorney General's News Release

May 9, 2012

Attorney General Koster reaches wastewater treatment settlement with the City of Springfield

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster has reached an agreement with the City of Springfield that requires the city to make extensive improvements to its sewer system in order to improve water quality in nearby streams by eliminating illegal overflows of untreated raw sewage.

While the full scope of the improvement won’t be known until next year when Springfield submits its long-term control plan to the Department of Natural Resources, under the settlement, the city agreed to spend at least $50 million on early action projects over the next seven years, including:

  • increasing the disinfection capacity of one of the city’s treatment plants;
  • constructing a new sewer line;
  • rehabilitating clay pipes and connections;
  • implementing a pilot program to reduce inflow and infiltration entering the system from private property;
  • increasing the city’s ability to monitor and quantify flow reductions;
  • increasing public outreach and education efforts; and
  • increasing the number of city employees handling sewer maintenance issues.

The settlement stems from allegations that untreated raw sewage was overflowing from the city’s wastewater collection system and from bypasses from the city’s two wastewater treatment plants. Sewage overflows pose a significant threat to public health and water quality because raw sewage can have high concentrations of bacteria from fecal contamination, as well as disease-causing pathogens and viruses. These overflows can occur in basements, back yards, city streets, and directly into streams and rivers. This settlement is designed to prevent those overflows.

“I appreciate the city of Springfield’s cooperation and commitment to investing in its sewer collection and treatment system,” Koster said. “These kinds of investments protect human health and the environment, spur economic development, and pave the way for a better and healthier quality of life.”

Springfield will reimburse the Department of Natural Resources up to $40,000 for costs associated with implementing the consent judgment, which will be filed in Greene County Circuit. The Environmental Protection Agency is not a party to the agreement.

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