Jan 22 2012

EPA Clarifies: No Mandates for Piedmont Sewer System

EPA confirms No Deadline for Replacing Mainline Sewer and No Automatic Penalties –

Piedmont resident Rick Schiller received the following response to his inquiry to the EPA Compliance Officer.  Measure A on the Feb. 7 ballot would raise Piedmont resident sewer taxes 50 percent. 

Dear Mr. Schiller,

I am the Compliance Officer for Stipulated Order No. C 09-05684 RS (SO).  Alexis had asked that I send you a copy of the final SO, and reply to the questions in your most recent e-mail.  The SO was sent to us in three parts, attached below.  It was lodged on 3/15/11 and approved by the Court on 9/6/11.

In response to your questions:

1)  You asked if there are other cases in addition to the two Stipulated Orders (SO) which mandate actions to be taken by EBMUD and/or any of the Satellites with regard to sewer system improvements.  There are two additional active enforcement actions, both issued against the City of Oakland by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.  The link to the Cease and Desist Order is: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/board_decisions/adopted_orders/2009/R2-2009-0087.pdf;

and the link to the Administrative Civil Liability Order is:

2)  The 2009 SO involves only EBMUD, not the Satellites, which is why you do not see anything in it with respect to a deadline for Piedmont to complete its mainline sewer replacement.  The 2011 SO requires that Piedmont (and each of the other Satellites) submit a sewer repair and replacement plan as part of its Asset Management Implementation Plan, due July 2015.  The specific requirements for what must be included in this part of the plan are at subparagraph 73.B.3. The SO does not specify a deadline by which Piedmont must complete the mainline sewer replacement work, nor is there a stipulation for penalties to be assessed against Piedmont if they fail to replace or repair a certain length of pipe each year.    However, the City is required to submit annual reports which provide information on their progress in implementing their plan, and must be able to sufficiently explain any deviation from the approved schedule. All penalties are described in Section XV. of the SO.

I agree that Piedmont has had an aggressive schedule for sewer repair and replacement, and we expect that they will continue this schedule under the requirements of the SO, thus helping to reduce the frequency and number of sanitary sewer overflows.

I’d be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.  My contact information is below.

Michelle Moustakas

Michelle Moustakas, P.E.
Environmental Engineer
Clean Water Act Compliance Office
US EPA R9, Mail Code WTR-7
75 Hawthorne St
San Francisco, CA  94105


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