Akron Advances On Efforts To Curb Sewer Overflows

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No matter how much building you see going on in Cleveland or Akron, it pales with what is happening underground. Akron has already spent $300 million to eliminate sewer overflows that end up in the Cuyahoga. They're looking at a total project cost of 1.4 billion. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is doing the same thing at the tune of $3 billion.

Akron's engineering consultant Mike Musgrave says the EPA is now allowing cities more leeway on their deadlines due, in part, to the lobbying of two Ohio mayors: Dave Berger of Lima and Don Plusquellic of Akron..

"The mayor, along with a couple of other mayors, we called them the "Gang of 13" after the recession of 2007 approached the EPA and said 'Folks, we need a better way to do this. We need to have flexibility.' "

Akron hopes the EPA will give change its consent decree next year. But for now the city is required to meet zero untreated sewage overflows by 2027, the strictest limit in the nation.

Today it broke ground on an $8 million storage basin that will prevent more than 18 million gallons of raw sewage from entering the river each year.

An earlier version of this headline contained a misspelling. Akron--not Akon--is advancing efforts to curb sewer overflows.

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