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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Consent decree open for public comment through Jan. 28

The Sewer District's combined sewer overflow (CSO) long-term control plan consent decree, a 25-year agreement with the Federal government to reduce sewage discharges to the environment, was posted in the Federal Register today, beginning the 30-day public-comment period. Here are the instructions for making comments, and the comment period ends January 28, 2011. Known as Project Clean Lake, the initiative will reduce annual sewage discharges to the environment from 4.5 billion gallons to 0.49 billion gallons.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let it snow, let it flow? Road salt and water quality

Scarves and shovels and salt are all common responses to the snows of winter. But how does the rock salt protecting us on the roadways affect the quality of the water flowing to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Consent decree filed in Federal court today

Our consent decree, a 25-year agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce raw sewage discharges to the environment, was filed in US District Court today. The official agreement between the Sewer District, US Department of Justice, and EPA will be published in the Federal Register, but the publish date is still uncertain. A 30-day public comment period will begin at that time. We will post links and updates on our website as they become available. UPDATE: Court documents have been posted on US Department of Justice homepage.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wallyday greetings

Bill messages explain rates, savings programs

Our 2011 rate schedule goes into effect January 1. Customers will begin seeing the brief messages below on their bills in the coming months explaining those increases and our rate-saving programs.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010: From stormwater to sewage and everything in between

The last 12 months have been filled with clean-water progress and projects that affect every one of our customers and one million Northeast Ohio residents. Here are just a few of our 2010 accomplishments:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

January 1 begins final year of current rate schedule

The Sewer District's 2011 rates, which take effect January 1, are the final phase of a multiple-year rate program approved by Trustees in 2008. A 2012-2016 rate study is nearing completion which will offer recommendations for rate adjustments and affordability programs early next year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PUP gets national props as "inventive" educational program

Yesterday, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) awarded the Sewer District's Pick Up Poop! (PUP) campaign with its 2010 Public Information & Education Award for its "inventive efforts to educate the public on the effects of waste water treatment and pollution control on the environment." The award will be presented at the NACWA Winter Conference in February.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tonight's small-business event canceled due to weather

This evening's SBE Opportunity Pipeline event has been canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date. Tomorrow night's workshop remains on schedule, but any attendees are advised to check our SBE homepage for updates.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WMJI's Lanigan & Malone talk sewer rates with Director Ciaccia

How will the recently passed consent decree affect sewer rates? Executive Director Julius Ciaccia appeared on this morning's Lanigan & Malone radio show on WMJI 105.7 where he discussed that, addressing the environmental problem of combined sewers, and what's next.


Summer Sprinkling program customers: Adjustments underway

We recognize that some Summer Sprinkling Program customers may not have received their discounts for the 2010 summer season. Last month, we mailed a letter to Summer Sprinkling Program customers to explain the issue and our response to the situation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trustees OK improvement plan to reduce sewage discharges

Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) Board of Trustees agreed to enter into a consent decree with the federal government, which details the long-term plan for reducing raw sewage overflows into the environment, by a 5-2 vote. Mayors Dean DePiero and Gary Starr cast dissenting votes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CSO consent decree, not rate increase, on Dec. 2 meeting agenda

The agenda for the Sewer District's December 2 Board of Trustees meeting includes an amendment to a resolution adopted in 2005 which would authorize District staff to execute the proposed 25-year agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. There will not be a vote to increase rates for the years 2012-2016 at this meeting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sewer District economic impact study available online

Attendees at recent Project Clean Lake public meetings saw several figures regarding job creation and tax revenue during the presentation. These estimates were reported in a September 2010 economic impact study conducted by Cleveland State University's Center for Economic Development. ...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balancing act

A worker stands atop what will be the renewable energy facility building at our Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center. More photos.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trustees, public hear Project Clean Lake details

This afternoon, the Board of Trustees and a full Public Meeting Room heard a detailed presentation of the Sewer District's draft combined sewer overflow long-term control plan. Known as Project Clean Lake, the 25-year agreement between the Sewer District and the Environmental Protection Agency would call for a $3 billion investment to reduce raw sewage discharges to the environment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Public meeting in Parma tonight, Board presentation tomorrow

About 40 residents attended last night's public meeting at the Gunning Park Rec Center, and a larger crowd is anticipated tonight in Parma for the District's sixth public meeting regarding rates and Project Clean Lake. A similar presentation of the consent decree and project details will be given to the District's Board of Trustees Thursday, November 18 at its 12:30 p.m. public meeting at the McMonagle Administration Building.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Project Clean Lake: Answers to common questions

In addition to our video and public meetings, we've updated our Project Clean Lake homepage to answer some of the common questions our customers have regarding the program and costs. We encourage your comments to help us create the best content that provides the information our customers need.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Renewable energy facility: "Whatever happened to...?"

Under the ever-so-catchy "Poo into power" headline, the Plain Dealer updated readers today with a status report on our Renewable energy facility (REF) that will turn waste heat into enough energy to power 25% of the plant's electricity needs. Read the story.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sewer District releases details of draft consent decree

Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District released details of its ongoing negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its $3 billion plan to reduce raw sewage discharges to the environment. Known as a consent decree, the draft agreement outlines specific projects and milestones that will reduce those discharges from 4.5 billion gallons annually to 494 million gallons.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maple Heights crowd nears 30 at fourth public meeting

Director of Engineering & Construction Kellie Rotunno and Director of Watershed Programs Frank Greenland spoke to a crowd of 25 residents at last night's "Why are my rates going up?" public meeting at Maple Heights regional library. Meetings resume Tuesday, November 16 at the Gunning Park Rec Center on Puritas Avenue at 7:00 p.m. See the remaining schedule.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Board President Brown issues response to Mayor Starr statement

Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Board of Trustees released a statement expressing its disappointment with fellow Board member Mayor Gary Starr’s press conference (held without the Board’s knowledge), in which he expressed his personal views rather than follow the public process observed by the entire Board. The Board reaffirmed its support for the Sewer District's ongoing negotiations with the US EPA regarding the plan to reduce 4.5 billion gallons of raw sewage from entering local waterways. Read the full statement.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hudson hosts second of District's six rate meetings

Approximately 25 guests attended Monday's public meeting in Hudson, the Sewer District's second in a series of six meetings intended to inform customers of upcoming projects and rate implications. Tonight's meeting is scheduled for the Maple Heights Library at 7:00. You can learn more about our efforts to reduce sewage discharges to the environment, an initiative we're calling Project Clean Lake.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

15 new species found in Cuyahoga River since '06

Fifteen new species of fish and 31 new species of macroinvertebrates found in the Cuyahoga River in the last three years are signs of increased diversity and improving environmental health. These findings and more are available in the our complete 2009 Cuyahoga River Environmental Monitoring report.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bond rating upgraded to second-highest possible ranking

Cleveland – On Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s bond rating from AA to AA+. In addition to the S&P upgrade, Moody’s reaffirmed the Sewer District’s prior rating of Aa1.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NY video: Storm floods canal with sewage

This video was taken in Brooklyn, NY after a storm, and is a disturbing example of how combined sewers function during heavy rains, discharging huge amounts of sewage to the environment.

The Sewer District has reduced the number of these kinds of discharges in Northeast Ohio, but the problem still exists. Public meetings beginning November 4 will discuss our approach to a solution.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sewer construction will affect Tremont traffic

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) is ready to begin the Walworth Run Interceptor Relocation (WRIR) project and will require closure of several roads in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. Construction will begin the week of Nov. 1 and will continue for eight months.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why are my sewer rates going up? Public meetings will answer

In anticipation of huge infrastructure investments and their potential impact on your sewer rates, the Sewer District will hold six public meetings between November 4 and 17 to detail the plan, the benefits of reducing raw sewage discharges to the environment, and what it means to customers. Download the full release [PDF]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remembering the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire

Two vintage clips from Cleveland's NewsNet5 show footage from the 1969 blaze and a 1989 follow-up story on the fire anniversary.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The good, the bad, and the history

Combined sewers are at the heart of Cleveland's sewer history. How were huge pipes designed to divert sewage and stormwater directly to nearby waterways ever considered a good idea? and why are they still in use today? As heard on a recent WCPN 90.3 interview, Director of Watershed Programs Frank Greenland summed up 100+ years of history in three minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hundreds know where it goes thanks to recent Open House

When it comes to wastewater and stormwater, "Where does it go?" is a common question, as is "What are my sewer bills paying for?" On August 7, we hoped to address both of those questions with an Open House at our Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cleveland. Hundreds of residents, employees, and their families attended, and we have the pictures to prove it.