The SSO Abatement Project
Glossary of Terms
COMPLIANCE AND SEWER ABATEMENT
On July 11, 2007, the County of Oneida entered into
a Consent Order with the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)
pertaining to wet weather discharges into the Mohawk River from
the Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station.
The Consent Order settled an enforcement action that had
been brought by NYSDEC against the County since the County holds
the permit for discharges from the sewer district to the river.
This State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
(SPDES) permit governs the discharge of sewage to the waters of
the state. It
authorizes the County to discharge treated effluent into the
from Outfall 001 and a combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharge
into the river from Outfall 002 at the Sauquoit Creek Pump
A CSO results when a wastewater collection system,
by design, conveys combined sewage by way of an overflow to the
waters of the State when that collection system becomes
overloaded, which can occur during periods of wet weather. An SSO
results when a wastewater collection system, by design, includes
sewage, but incidentally includes stormwater-related inflow and
infiltration (I&I) discharges to state waters.
Following an inspection in early 2007, NYSDEC
determined that the sewers connected to Outfall 002 were primarily
sanitary sewers, thus this Outfall was a sanitary sewer overflow
A subsequent Notice of Hearing and Complaint was
served on the County, which contained four causes of action and a
proposed consent order. The
County began negotiating the terms of the consent order and
responded to the complaint.
Had the County failed to agree a Consent Order, it
would be liable for a penalty of up to $37,500 per violation per
day plus injunctive relief. By
agreeing to the terms, it will instead pay a civil penalty of
$150,000 and complete required repairs and remediation according
to a specific schedule and timetable mandated by the state.
According to the terms of the Consent Order, the
County must take the following actions:
the civil penalty on the effective date of the order (July 11,
all Sauquoit Creek Pump Station tributary municipalities with
a copy of the Order and submit proof of service to the DEC
within two weeks of the effective date of the Order.
six months of the effective date of the Order, submit a plan
ensuring that any new connection to the collection system of
Outfall 002 is offset by removal of I&I in an amount 5
times the flow the new connections are expected to contribute
until discharges are in compliance with the permit.
to DEC for its approval any new connections and/or extensions
prior to hook up, and submit certification that these comply
with I&I offset requirements.
five months of the effective date of the Order, submit to DEC
for review and approval a flow management plan that includes a
schedule of implementation.
four months of the effective date of the Order, submit to DEC
and inter-municipal sewer overflow response plan.
The plan must be implemented within one month of
receipt of the DECís comments.
six months, submit to DEC an engineering report evaluating
remedial measures to reduce and/or treat discharges from
Sauquoit Creek Pump Station until discharges from Outfall 002
are brought into compliance with the permit.
four months of the effective date, submit proposed
inter-municipal agreements and other enforceable legal
documents ensuring the Countyís authority to implement the
I&I offset program. These
documents must be finalized within 30 days of receipt of the
three years of the effective date, submit to DEC a plan of
study, and an approvable plan and implementation schedule to
bring Outfall 002 in compliance by October 31, 2014.
The execution of the Consent Order was the
culmination of six months of settlement negotiations with the
NYSDEC. Although the
County believes it had meritorious defenses to the NYSDEC action,
it chose to settle the matter expeditiously in order to provide a
long-term solution for wet weather discharges to the river and to
provide an immediate mechanism to allow development to continue
throughout the Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station service area while
these remediation projects are underway.