City to Settle with EPA Over Storm Water, Sewage Issue

Haverhill city councilors receive details Tuesday night about the city’s settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires “some immediate upgrades” in the way the city manages storm water and sewage disposal.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini requested he, Public Works Director Michael Stankovich, Assistant Director and Water/Wastewater Superintendent Robert E. Ward and the city’s environmental attorney Michael A. Leon discuss a proposed consent decree as well as a borrowing $2.2 million to “fund design and construction for the first of two phases of odor control improvements” to the wastewater facility in Bradford. Details of the consent decree were not provided in the council’s agenda documents.

“The consent decree will require the city to make some immediate upgrades to the waste treatment plant, most of which are nearly completed and will require us to submit a long-term plan for upgrades,” Fiorentini said in a letter.

During the past decade the city and other Merrimack Valley communities have worked to meet the unfunded federal CSO mandate under the Clean Water Act. It requires increased capacity at wastewater facilities to also treat storm water runoff and prevent release of raw sewage into the Merrimack River in heavy rain or flooding conditions.

The city’s relationship with Leon, a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, dates back more than 30 years to when the city successfully fought Solvent Recovery Services’ planned Ward Hill hazardous waste reprocessing facility.

The Haverhill City Council meets in regular session at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

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