The City of Jeffersonville was given the go ahead this week by a federal judge to implement its plan to bring the city into compliance with clean water standards that will save millions of dollars in construction costs.
The plan is part of an agreement between the City of Jeffersonville, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that modifies the original agreement entered in 2009 by former Mayor Tom Galligan.
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore had requested the EPA and IDEM to modify the plan to allow changes in the design for sewer improvements that will bring the city in compliance with clean water standards while doing a more thorough job of removing pollutants collected by the wastewater system. The new plan eliminates the expense of the downtown canal proposed by Galligan and instead funds the Interceptor Project.
“It’s been a long and hard journey to get here. But our determination and hard work has paid-off,” said Moore who complimented his fellow members on the Jeffersonville Sanitary Sewer Board for sharing a commitment to finding a cheaper and more efficient way to make long-overdue sewer system improvements. “We came into office in 2012 promising to solve the city’s sewer problems without any new sewer rate hikes. We’re living up to that promise with the approval of this plan.”
Engineers for the City estimate that the cost for constructing the enhanced design will be millions of dollars less than the 2009 plan.
An additional benefit to the new design is that the improvements to the sewer system will create more capacity for new developments, particularly in the downtown area of Jeffersonville with the Combined Sewer system, where several new residential development projects are under construction or planned. In addition, much of the temporary flooding of streets associated with major storm events should also be reduced.
The proposed agreement was filed with the Court in late June of this year to modify the city’s 2009 Consent Decree and Long-Term Control Plan. Afterwards a notice was published in the U.S. Federal Register announcing a legally required thirty (30) day public comment period which ended on July 31, 2020. No negative comments were received and afterwards the court approved an Agreed Order proposed by Jeffersonville.