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Release Date: 02/28/2003
Contact Information: Carl Terry (404) 562-8325
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) announced today that they have begun an investigation into the City of Atlanta's failure to meet a major construction deadline required under a Federal consent decree. This consent decree was entered into by EPA, EPD and the City in 1999 to bring the City's sanitary sewer system that is separated from stormwater into compliance with the Clean Water Act and the Georgia Water Quality Control Act.

The City notified EPA and EPD on February 14, 2003 that the Indian Creek Sewer Relief Project will not be completed on schedule (February 28, 2003) as required by the consent decree. Completion of this project is necessary to eliminate the historical overflows of raw sewage into neighboring streams. The Indian Creek Relief Project is located in the Lenox area of Atlanta, just east of Interstate 400 and Lenox Road. EPA and EPD staff have reviewed site conditions and have verified that the project will not be completed as required. The City has preliminarily indicated that it probably will take an additional 3-4 months for completion. The consent decree provides for options to penalize the City for this violation and to deter future violations. Such options include stipulated penalties and the prohibition of new sewer connections in the affected area. Upon completion of the investigation, an enforcement response may be taken. EPA and EPD will continue to monitor the progress of this critical sewer project to ensure that the City complies with the Consent Decree so that the health of residents and the environment are protected.