BUFFALO SEWER AUTHORITY CONTINUES PROGRESS TOWARD CONTROLLING SEWER OVERFLOWS
Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Sewer Authority respectfully disagrees with many of the conclusions contained in the EPA’s March 15, 2012 Administrative Order and accompanying public comments. The Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) shares in the EPA’s concern, which is why it is developing a long term control plan to limit combined sewer overflows in the best interests of the public. This plan builds on BSA’s nearly completed $60 million investment in overflow control systems, which has already been approved by the EPA. The BSA’s long term control plan will be shared with all stakeholders, federal and state partners, including the EPA and DEC, and the public. BSA looks forward to continuing its work with the EPA in completing BSA’s Long Term Control Plan.
The BSA is several years into a $60 million EPA approved program of capital investments that will greatly improve control of combined sewer overflows, which only occur during abnormal weather events that feature persistent heavy rains. This phase of the program will be complete by the end of 2013. BSA’s Long Term Control Plan contains millions of dollars in additional investments that will also be implemented in 2013.
The BSA is just weeks away from publishing its recommended plan for addressing wet weather sewer overflow issues. BSA has worked diligently to make sure the plan is cost-effective, affordable and will result in real environmental and public benefits. The plan has been shaped in consultation with key stakeholders, such as the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, a citizen panel, and many other groups/entities.
In fact, the Riverkeeper Director of Ecological Programs, Jill Jedlicka, said today, “For several years Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER has been working closely with the Buffalo Sewer Authority, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure incorporation of green infrastructure in the Long Term Control Plan. It is our understanding that the BSA’s current Draft Plan offers significant investment in green infrastructure that will not only benefit our water quality, but will also enhance our community. We are confident that the BSA is submitting a plan that ensures compliance with technology and water quality standards.”
The BSA will continue to implement its ongoing $60 million capital program and multimillion dollar planning effort to identify significant additional long-term sewer overflow control investments that will be implemented after completion of the capital program. The BSA Plan includes green infrastructure projects such as rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavements and sidewalks, green roofs and urban trees. The Buffalo Sewer Authority looks forward to working with all partners in developing a long term control plan that improves water quality in the best interests of residents.