EPA public comment system online

February 2, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Sudhir V. Desai, Environmental Engineer, Water Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Branch of the U.S. EPA, Region 5, said Saturday the EPA website for public comment on Portsmouth’s proposed Long Term Control Plan is up and running.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is opening a public comment period on the Clean Water Act Administrative Order on Consent that the EPA is considering entering into with the city of Portsmouth. The move would help reduce sewer overflows from Portsmouth’s sewers.

“Citizens can access the website for information related to the EPA’s Administrative Order on Consent, among others, and provide their input to the EPA,” Desai said.

Desai said it is important the information guiding the commenting process get out to the public as quickly as possible.

He said the public can submit their statements in writing through the website www.epa.gov/region5/water/portsmouth. Those wishing to mail their comments, may do so to Sudhir Desai, Environmental Engineer, Water Division, U.S. EPA Region 5 (WC-15J) 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois 60604-3590.

“This is what we’ve been working on ever since I came back,” City Wastewater Director Rick Duncan said last week. “That’s our Long Term Control Plan. The schedule right now looks pretty definite. This is basically the plan we have negotiated. (City) Council hasn’t approved it yet, and the EPA can’t approve it until they have a public comment period.”

Portsmouth Wastewater Director Rick Duncan said there will also be a public hearing on the plan at the Flohr Lecture Hall at the Clark Library on the campus of Shawnee State University, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

The Long Term Control Plan covers Portsmouth’s wet weather overflows to the Ohio River and the Scioto River, and deals with the flooding issues which have resulted in lawsuits filed against the city by residents of the Grandview Avenue section of Portsmouth. Heavy downpours have resulted in flooding of homes in that area in the past.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or flewis@civitasmedia.com.