In the case of ALCOSAN, the Consent Decree is an agreement between the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for ALCOSAN to achieve compliance with the Clean Water Act during periods of wet weather. The Consent Decree is a binding, legal document that is certified by a federal judge and therefore recognized by the court.
To comply with the Consent Decree, ALCOSAN must meet a series of requirements for planning, design and construction, operation and permitting. These requirements include the following two steps to ensure the project is in compliance with the Consent Decree:
- For the sanitary sewer system (SSO), ALCOSAN will design and construct conveyance, storage, and treatment facilities that eliminate all sanitary sewer overflows, while also capturing and treating flows equal to all of the sanitary sewer system flow that is generated in the regional collection system.
- For the combined sewer system (CSO), ALCOSAN has two design and construction options: The first option provides for the design and construction of conveyance, storage, and treatment facilities that capture and treat all peak dry-weather flow in the regional collection system and all wet-weather flow in the regional combined sewer system. The second option allows ALCOSAN to treat all peak dry-weather flow while capturing at least 85 percent of all combined sewer system flow and treating all wet-weather flow with the best practicable technology.
The Consent Decree requires a comprehensive regional planning effort unlike anything ALCOSAN has undertaken in the past, and ALCOSAN's draft Wet Weather Plan represents the largest public works project ever completed in Allegheny County.
For more information on the draft Plan please refer to our Wet Weather Plan page.
Consent Decree Document