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  • AFTERNOON UPDATE – * WHO HOLDS THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE?

    Posted on December 28th, 2017 Becky 1 comment

    PUBLIC HEALTH AT RISK!

         The lawsuit by the U.S. against the City of Lancaster is part of the Consent Decree Mayor J. Richard Gray signed on November 28th. What LNP did not tell you in their story (see yesterday’s post below) is about the lawsuit and how damning it is in stating over and over again how often Lancaster violated EPA standards for years and years.
         And in the scariest fact, I am reprinting paragraphs #96 and #97 from the suit that state that important health information was withheld from the public. This is outrageous and needs to be fully investigated! How can LNP ignore this?
         Below the paragraphs is a warning sign from Appendix D to the decree that now has to be posted by the city in overflow areas.
         There will be more tomorrow. If you follow the links in the EPA press release immediately below, you can read the Lawsuit, the Consent Decree and all of the Appendices to the suit and decree.

    ***

    *    The EPA Press Release (click here):

    FEDERAL-STATE SETTLEMENT WITH CITY OF LANCASTER, PA. TO CURB DISCHARGE OF SEWAGE AND OTHER POLLUTANTS TO CONESTOGA RIVER

    PHILADELPHIA (December 20, 2017) The city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania has agreed to comprehensive measures to end discharges of untreated sewage and other pollutants to local waterways from the City’s combined storm and sewage system, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced today. 

    The settlement, which was filed in federal district court in Philadelphia resolves a simultaneously filed complaint brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA and PADEP, alleging the discharge of untreated sewage into the Conestoga River in violation of the Clean Water Act.

    Under the settlement, the City of Lancaster has agreed to implement measures to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows, or CSOs.  These include improving pump stations and reduction of flow through a comprehensive long-term plan to improve the ability of the entire system to handle flow.

    “We are proud of the close collaboration between EPA and PADEP over the course of these investigations and negotiations,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.  “This settlement, which will improve local water quality and protect human health, was achieved in large part because of the strong cooperation between our two agencies.”

    “This outcome is good for the people of Lancaster and everyone that uses the Conestoga River,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Reducing sewer overflows makes our streams and rivers cleaner and better places for fish, wildlife, and people.”

    The Clean Water Act complaint, filed with the proposed consent decree, alleged unlawful pollution discharges caused by numerous overflows of untreated wastewater from Lancaster’s combined sewer system.  This system carries rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same sewer pipes to a wastewater treatment plant, where it is treated before discharge to a water body. 

    During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, the water volume exceeds the system’s capacity – causing combined sewer overflows.  The City has five CSO outfalls, which overflowed at least 392 times in the past five years, discharging nearly 3.8 billion gallons of untreated, polluted water into the Conestoga River, a tributary of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. These CSOs contain not only stormwater but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. 

    The settlement between the Department of Justice and the city of Lancaster resulted from several years of investigation of alleged violations by EPA and PADEP, followed by extensive federal-state negotiations with city officials.

    The city of Lancaster will pay a $135,000 civil penalty, split equally between the U.S. and Pennsylvania, and implement a $1.8 million supplemental environmental project.  This project involves the restoration of a 1,350-foot segment of a local waterway called Groff’s Run that will reconnect wetlands to the Conestoga River, protecting water quality and reducing localized flooding. 

    For more information on CSOs, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=5.


    The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.  The consent decree is available for review at
    www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

    ANOTHER UNSOLVED
    MURDER IN THE CITY

         Austin J. Peters has been added to the “UNSOLVED MURDERS” tab above. The 22-year-old was shot and killed in the city on December 10th. This makes the twenty-first unsolved murder in the city under Mayor Gray.
    Please check back later today.

     

    One response to “AFTERNOON UPDATE – * WHO HOLDS THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE?”

    1. Uh…well, it’s supposed to be the D.A.’s office, but don’t hold your breath.