Processing Magazine

Chicago-area water district settles Clean Water Act violations for $675,000

December 15, 2011

CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of Illinois announced a Clean Water Act (CWA) settlement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into Chicago area waterways during flood and wet weather events, according to a press release.

Under the settlement, MWRD will work to complete a tunnel and reservoir plan to increase its capacity to handle wet weather events and address combined sewer overflow discharges.

MWRD has also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $675,000.

“This consent decree requires MWRD to invest in green roofs, rain gardens and other green infrastructure to prevent basement flooding in the neighborhoods that are most severely impacted by sewer overflows,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman. “The enforceable schedule established by this consent decree will also ensure completion of the deep tunnel and reservoir system to control untreated sewage releases into Chicago area rivers and Lake Michigan.”