Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Updated at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to correct election date error and add vote totals.

There was sparse voter turnout but overwhelming support for a major bond issue Tuesday that will allow the Metropolitan St. Louis  Sewer District, to gradually increase rates to pay for necessary upgrades.

Referred to as Proposition Y, the bond issue’s passage means the average MSD customer’s bill will go up from around $29 a month to nearly $44 over the next four years.  That's compared to almost $65 a month had the bond issue not been approved. 

(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can expect a bigger bill in July.  A vote tomorrow will determine if those increases are gradual or immediate.

(Véronique LaCapra)

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN says the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is not doing enough to include local minority and female workers in its sewer upgrade projects.

MOKAN executive director Yaphett El-Amin says her group wants MSD to increase the transparency of its hiring practices and invest at least $23.5 million in worker training programs.

(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Updated at 5:45 with statement from the Attorney General's office.

Updated at 2:00 with comments from MSD, Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

A federal judge in Missouri has given her approval to a consent decree that requires the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to make billions of dollars in improvements to settle Clean Water Act violations.

(Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr)

Updated at 2:20 with comments from MSD.

A ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals is a mixed bag for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

The decision today is the latest in a series of rulings on a storm water "user charge" the agency implemented in 2007.  The charge was based on the impervious area of a property, and replaced a system of a flat tax that could be enhanced by additional taxes in 21 sub-districts.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has resolved a lawsuit with the Environmental Protection Agency with promises to fix its aging system.

But the consent decree, which still must be signed off on by a federal judge, comes with a huge price tag, an estimated $4.7 billion over 23 years.

In the second of a two-part series on the overhaul of the sewer district, St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman explains MSD’s rate payers will be picking up the tab.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

This summer, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District settled a four-year lawsuit with the Environmental Protection Agency over violations of the Clean Water Act.

Under the terms of the consent decree, MSD will spend the next 23 years upgrading the St. Louis area sewer system.

In the first of a two-part series on the sewer overhaul, St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra looks at the problems with our sewers—and what it’s going to take to fix them.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says it will be developing a new system to monitor back-up power sources at its pumping stations.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is urging its customers to weigh in on a proposed rate increase that could push monthly sewer bills to $85 a month within 10 years.

"Without that input, we're going to be making some very important decisions on our own, and when you look at the cost, it really needs to be a community conversation," said agency spokesman Lance LeComb.

(via Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

A consent decree that will settle a four-year-old lawsuit against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District over violations of the Clean Water Act is a step closer to taking effect.

(Rachel Lippmann/ St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has decided to waive its normal $2,400 cap for damage reimbursements and will completely pay for flood damage sustained June 25 by 70 specific homes in north St. Louis.

Why waive the cap? Because the District has determined it is at fault.

Here's what happened:

(Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

The board of the Metropolitan Sewer District has approved a settlement with the federal government and a local environmental action group over violations of the Clean Water Act.

The state of Missouri was also a party to the 2007 lawsuit, but did not approve the settlement.

The agreement will, among other things, require MSD to:

(via Missouri Department of Transportation)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is again urging motorists to avoid eastbound Interstate 70 just north of downtown as crews continue emergency repair work on the highway.

(via Flickr/Paul Sableman)

The Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan Sewer District gave its initial approval last night to a multi-billion dollar plan to settle a Clean War Act lawsuit.

The state of Missouri and the EPA filed the suit in 2007, which the Missouri Coalition for the Environment later joined. It alleged, among other things that

(Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)

Hearings will begin in about a week on a $276 million rate increase request for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. MSD says the rate hike is needed to comply with stricter regulatory requirements and to reduce wastewater overflows into area creeks and streams.

Updated 3:30 p.m. June 3 to include comment from MSD.

Updated at 9:55 a.m. June 3 to reflect that the State of Missouri has not signed on to the consent decree.

A lawsuit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District back in June 2007 could soon be resolved.

View University City Flood Damage in a larger map

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that  a class-action lawsuit stemming from 2008 flash floods that killed two people and severely damaged more than 100 houses in University City can go forward.

The lawsuit alleges that the Metropolitan Sewer District's failure to maintain the River Des Peres  made it impossible for the system to handle what amounted to predictable heavy rain. The floods were the result of the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

The Metropolitan Sewer District says it plans to appeal a July court ruling that threw out a new system for charging for stormwater system maintenance.

The new fee charged people based on how much of their property could not absorb water. But Lincoln County judge Dan Dildine ruled that it was actually a tax, and therefore had to be approved by voters.

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