Secondary Treatment of Municipal Wastewater in the St. Louis Area: Minimal Impact Expected

CED-78-76 Published: May 12, 1978. Publicly Released: May 12, 1978.
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The objective of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 was to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. Publicly-owned treatment works were required to provide secondary treatment by July 1, l977, and to use the best practicable technology by 1983. To assist publicly owned treatment works in providing secondary treatment, the Act authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make grants of up to 75 percent of the costs. Federal funds approximating $163 million are planned to be spent for the construction of two municipal secondary treatment facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress should amend the law to eliminate the mandatory requirement for secondary treatment of discharges and to permit the Administrator, EPA, to grant waivers, deferrals, or modifications on a case-by-case basis to this requirement.
Closed – Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator, EPA, should reevaluate its policy of subordinating combined sewer overflow and collector sewer projects to municipal plant projects, in view of the Clean Water Act of 1977 which allows states more flexibility in determining construction grant priorities.
Closed – Not Implemented
The 1981 amendments to the Clean Water Act authorized that combined sewer overflow projects be limited to those affecting bays and estuaries, and that no combined sewer overflow projects for fiscal years (FY) 1983 through 1985 be funded beyond FY 1985. This action by Congress effectively eliminates the combined sewer overflow program.

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