Iowa AG settles water suit with city

Miller

DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced on Monday that the city of Dubuque, Iowa, has agreed to a settlement over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. Dubuque will spend $3 million on a water pollution control plant and sewer collection improvements and will pay a $205,000 penalty to the state of Iowa and the federal government as part of the settlement. A complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa alleged that Dubuque violated federal pollution discharge permits and the Clean Water Act since at least 2002. The city allegedly failed to treat sanitary sewer overflows, primarily those into Catfish Creek; failed to comply with a pretreatment program; and exceeded effluent limits. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to improve its sewer collection system and its water pollution control plant over the next three years. The city will also spend approximately $260,000 to reconstruct four alleys that incorporate permeable pavement to reduce the flow of storm water into the city's sewer system. "We at the state level have shared concerns with our federal partners about ongoing water pollution issues," Miller said. "This agreement addresses our concerns, and we appreciate the city of Dubuque's commitment to fix this threat to the Mississippi River." Under the terms of the settlement, Dubuque must complete the sewer system improvements and upgrades within 34 months of an anticipated consent decree, which is subject to approval of the court after a 30 day public comment period.

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