OLEAN — City lawmakers gave a green light to the beginning stages of a long-overdue project at the Olean’s wastewater treatment plant.
During the Common Council’s legislative session Tuesday, council members unanimously approved creating a capital improvement project for the facility on South 19th Street to bring it up to state and federal regulations. In addition, the council also approved issuing a $125,000 bond to pay for O’Brien and Gere, an engineering firm, to complete preliminary design work and engineering estimates for the project.
Without soon demonstrating to the state Department of Environmental Conservation some movement forward to correct the plant’s overflow problem, the city could be fined $37,500 a day until it becomes compliant with SPDES regulations. In a recent interview with the Times Herald, Public Works Director Tom Windus said fines could be made retroactively to 2001, meaning the city could have to pay penalty fees of up to $147 million.
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