Category Archives: MSD News

Sewer Overflows in Cincinnati linked to

The first epidemiological study to report associations between sewer overflow (CSO) events occurring near homes and elevated risks for Emergency Department visits was conducted by  Professor Cole Brokamp. The time period of this study was Jan 31, 2010 to December 9, 2014.  The study found “evidence that CSO events occurring near residences were linked to childhood ED (Emergency Department) visits for GI illnesses, primarily acute gastroenteritis, 2 to 5 days post CSO events.”  Download Dr Brokamp’s powerpoint here and the study here.   An interactive map of the CSOs can also be accessed here.

County releases Phase II plan for MSD sewer consent decree

The city and county have been unable to reach agreement on the next phase of the MSD s Consent Decree. The county has released its plan.  We don’t know if the city will release theirs or submit their version to USEPA for approval.

Here are the documents that the County has provided.

Summary: BOCC – Board’s WWIP Phase 2A Proposed Plan Summary 5-25-18

first set of Fact Sheets for some projects: Hamilton County Phase 2A Fact Sheets – Part 1 Phase 2A Fact Sheets – Part 1.2 for 2018-06-05

Second set of Fact Sheets: Phase 2A Fact Sheets – Part 1.2 for 2018-06-05

Sierra Club’s comments on the un-approvable County plan: 2018-06-07 SC comments on County Phase II plan

Sewers & Clean Water – Phase II Plan?

On Friday May 27, Hamilton County sent out the information below about the failure of the city and county to reach agreement on the Phase II plan for MSD sewer repairs.  The County is seeking comments on their version of the Phase II plan. The Phase II plan was due to USEPA June 30, 2017, nearly a year ago.

Remaining hearings will be held

–          6:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at the Delhi Senior Center, 647 Neeb Road

–          6:00 p.m., Thursday, June 7, 2018, at the NorthChurch, 4222 Hamilton Avenue

ham co email  announcement of the public meeting

BOCC ltr to City Officials re MSD Phase 2A Public Hearings Commissioner letter

BOCC – Board’s WWIP Phase 2A Proposed Plan Summary 5-25-18 link above to the County Plan

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
MSD would like to inform you that the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will conduct an additional public hearing to consider the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s (MSD) recommended 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), 2017 Operating Budget, and a revised rate structure for sewerage service charges and surcharges.

There are two scheduled public hearings at the Hamilton County Administration Building, 138 East Court Street, Room 603, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

There is also a a public meeting where sewer rates will be discussed but it is not an official public hearing. It is scheduled for
Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Communities United for Action (CUFA), 1814 Dreman Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223

MSD’s annual capital improvement budget and annual operating budget are developed and recommended by MSD to the BoCC each year along with any rate or fee recommendations that support the budget proposal. The budgets and associated rate recommendations reflect the resources required to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as to protect public health throughout Hamilton County.
View the Additional Notice of Public Hearing.

View the original Notice of Public Hearing.
Sincerely,
MSD Communications
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati and Hamilton County rush to deal on 45-year County take-over of Sewer District

Infighting between Cincinnati and Hamilton County has gotten in the way of implementing sewer consent decree projects that would clean some of the worst polluted water in the United States. By the Sewer Districts own reckoning, over 8 billion gallons of untreated sewage mixed with rain water, go into the Ohio River, Mill Creek and Muddy Creek. The Sewer District continually violates the Clean Water Act, exceeds standards by millions and continues to maintain illegal Sanitary Sewer Overflows.

Sierra Club remains concerned that the creation of a new five-member board of City of Cincinnati (2) and Hamilton County (3) appointed members to oversee operations, recreates the same potential for conflict. “Supermajorities” (4of 5) are required for major decisions; supermajority requirements tend to prevent, rather than encourage projects. The commitment letter seeks to let the City out of the consent decree, yet maintains a level of control that could interfere with consent decree work. These delays will add to the City’s prediction that a number of consent decree projects will already be late. The importance of the consent decree work needs to have primacy in the new agreement, but currently doesn’t. At the same time, the commitment letter also leaves the dispute about asset ownership up in the air.

We sought to have the deadline extended to allow for more consideration of this 45-year deal to fix it and allow other options to be explored. While the deadline was extended from the original 1 week, it did not allow sufficient time for the public to be more fully informed and consider other options.

The mediation between the City and County, which led to the commitment letter, was under a gag order by the judge assigned to the consent decree. The next set of projects to be completed by the Sewer District, under the consent decree, were due to US EPA on June 30. The County requested, and may still want, a one year delay in submitting this set of commitments for work that begins in 2019. US EPA, at this point, has granted a 4-month extension until October 31, 2017. Bizarrely, the City and County will not release even a draft of the Phase 2 plan for public review (beyond the list created in 2010 which has most likely changed in at least some respects.)

Sierra Club is also concerned about the status of verbal commitments made by the current management to businesses and residents about sewer projects. Will they be honored by the future management?

Thanks to diligent and fast work by Sierra Club attorneys and many members of the public, some changes were made to the commitment letter, over the weekend before the Monday morning vote. Sierra Club offered draft language, some of which was accepted. We appreciate members of Council and the Commission’s willingness to meet and discuss issues of concern about this 45 year agreement.

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Many concerns still exist about the new city /county proposal for running the Sewer District. This agreement will last for 45 years so it is important to take the time to get it right!

  1. The requirements for board decision-making (supermajority) will stall the implementation of the consent decree and lead to more sewer backups into homes and businesses.
  2. There is no need to rush the deal and cut off public participation — there are options that also accommodate the need to reassure the bond market.
  3. Any other issues from the Sierra Club letter or your personal experience.

Please call (or email) the following and ask them to allow time to review and amend the agreement.

Commissioner Denise Driehaus 946-4406 [email protected]
Commissioner Todd Portune 946-4401 [email protected]
Council member Yvette Simpson 352-5260 [email protected]
Council member PG Sittenfeld 352-5270 [email protected]
Council member Chris Seelbach 352-5210 [email protected]
Council member Charles Winburn 352-5354 [email protected]
Council member Wendell Young 352-3466 [email protected]
Council member Chris Smitherman 352-3464 [email protected]
Council member Kevin Flynn 352-4550 [email protected]

Check out Sierra Club’s  letter about the MSD commitment letter. 2017-08-07 Sierra Club and M. Wall Review of Proposed MSD Agreement

See the City and County Commitment Letter –>1013-Notice-of-Filing-Letter.pdf for their rough outline of the 45 year deal.  See what Sierra Club thinks of the deal–>   Deep Flaws in Sewer Deal Require Your Help at Monday Evening Meeting

Recap of the February Inning “Open Forum on Environmental Issues”

This unusual Innings meeting featured three speakers, with break-out sessions for each. Marilyn Wall spoke on MSD issues; Bob Park spoke about coming global cataclysms, and Nathan Alley talking about Plastics, Pipelines and Transportation. People left motivated to take positive action to address the issues!

 

 

Say No to Another Sewer Rate Increase!

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Are you tired of high sewer rates? Despite the lack of progress on court ordered improvements and failure to restructure the billing system, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is asking for a 4.25% increase to your sewer bill.  We already have one of the most regressive rates in the country, raising the minimum charge on residential housing will only make it worse.  

Take a stand against the MSD Rate Hike, Send a letter today!

Last year we were successful at freezing rate hikes and recommending structural changes that would make the billing system fair, because people like you sent emails, made phone calls and testified at County Commissioner meetings.  Join your fellow Sierra Club members and let the Commissioners know how you feel about the rates.  

Take action today, send a letter  to the Hamilton County Commissioners!

We need to see a rate structure that reflects equity amongst all customers before rates are further increased. Together we can create change and implement a billing structure that is fair and incentivize water conservation, instead of rewarding the biggest water users with the lowest prices. 

Thank You for taking action,

Matt

placeholder_image Matt Trokan

Conservation Director

Sierra Club Ohio Chapter