Chicopee – USEPA Consent Decree Modification
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICOPEE – The City of Chicopee is pleased to announce the US Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to significant and far-reaching Modifications of Chicopee’s 2006 Combined sewer Overflow (CSO) Consent Decree.
“This, the eight modification negotiated all during my current tenure as Mayor, will benefit Chicopee residents by extending timelines and establishing project priorities that slow the rate of sewer fee increases and recognizes that the financial impact cannot continue to grow at its present pace,” said Mayor Richard J. Kos, “These modifications continue our efforts to address our environmental issues while respecting the burden being placed on our ratepayers.”
This latest modification incorporates elements of the 2016 Integrated Management Plan (IMP) that; schedules wise infrastructure investments in five (5) year blocks into the future thus enabling the City to take a holistic approach to meet the environmental needs of the community while balancing and recognizing these needs against the financial impact on our residents.
The Modified Consent Decree prioritizes sewer separation in the Downtown section of the City and CSO reduction of 423 million gallons by 2035. The Modification prioritizes and achieves the following milestones:
• Partial separation in the South Fairview Area reducing sewer backups
• Replacing combined sewer pipes that are in very poor condition.
• Continues the reduction of CSO volume. -more-
• Implementation of a Sewer Backup Prevention Program City-wide.
The Modification is intended to be flexible and adaptable and can be further modified to account for changing regulatory, financial, and environmental conditions.
“I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the USEPA, MassDEP Western Region, and City staff whose joint efforts and in-depth analysis of the issues, while recognizing Chicopee’s significant financial investment in its infrastructure over the past 20 years, have yielded a Modification that will serve Chicopee residents and pave the way for new future environmental infrastructure improvements,” stated Mayor Kos.