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MSD sued by state, EPA

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By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The EPA and state of Missouri filed suit today (Monday) against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District over violations of the Clean Water Act.

The lawsuit says the sewer district has illegally discharged raw sewage and violated state permits for such discharges.

EPA attorney Martha Steincamp says they're seeking a permanent injunction to prevent MSD from further violations.

"The judge would look at it terms of coming up with a reasonable schedule for accomplishing all the work that needs to be done, and the penalties would only come into play if MSD does not come into compliance," Steincamp said.

MSD spokesman Lance LeComb says the system is one of the largest and oldest in the country.

He says while the district has eliminated 300 sewer overflows in recent years, it would cost about $20 billion to eliminate them all.

"One of our primary missions is to protect the environment and we've been very aggressively doing that in recent year," LeComb said. "But we've also got to be cognizant that our community does not have a bottomless pocketbook."

LeComb says the district has been waiting for the EPA and state to finalize water regulations before creating the plan.

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