In what promises to be a marathon session tonight, since a protest organized by Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward) forced the informal meeting last Monday to be cancelled, the Common Council is once again expected to vote on whether or not to declare the proposed sewer separation project a Type 2 action, requiring no environmental review. The premise on which the project is based and which Rob Perry, Department of Public Works superintendent, has repeatedly stated as gospel is that, whenever sewer mains are replaced, the new sewer mains must separate storm water runoff from the sanitary sewer.
Now, Timothy O'Connor, the most tireless and intrepid opponent of the proposed project, has gotten the word on this issue in writing from the Environmental Protection Agency: "The national CSO Control Policy does not mandate sewer separation whenever sewers are being replaced. Sewer separation is an option that a sewer authority should consider when deciding what is the best approach to reduce the number of wet weather overflows from a Combined Sewer System." The news made the front page of today's Register-Star: "EPA: Sewer separation not mandated."
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