KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 4 (UPI) — The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has agreed to spend $4.7 billion during the next 23 years to upgrade its system, federal officials said Thursday.
The Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2007. Improvements to treatment plants and sewers will end overflows of raw sewage and reduce pollution in rivers in the St. Louis area, officials said.
The plans include construction of three storage tunnels ranging in length from 2 miles to 9 miles and expansion of two treatment plants. The EPA said overflows would be cut by 13 million gallons.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment Foundation was also involved in the lawsuit.
“St. Louis, America’s Gateway City, grew up alongside the Mississippi. Unfortunately, for too long it treated the river’s tributaries as a dumping ground for sewage,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “By moving forward with this Clean Water Act settlement, the community is facing its responsibilities. This agreement will bring jobs and long-term economic investments while significantly improving the environment for future generations.”