Capital Region Water responded to a federal court’s ruling that grants intervenor status to the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper as the authority continues its work with state and federal regulators on an updated consent decree that outlines clean water commitments.

“Capital Region Water remains focused on finding equitable and innovative ways to reduce combined sewer overflows, repair aging infrastructure, address localized flooding and runoff, and meet state and federal clean water requirements, while also minimizing the burden on our ratepayers,” CRW Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Katzenmoyer said.

“We have made tremendous progress over the years to address a backlog of deferred maintenance projects and upgrade outdated and undersized wastewater and stormwater infrastructure,” she continued. “We look forward to updating and finalizing the consent decree as we continue to meet our clean water commitments to protect and enhance the long-term health of our city and its waterways.”

Harrisburg is one of dozens of combined sewer overflow (CSO) communities around the country under consent decrees or orders to control runoff into local waterways.

Capital Region Water has been operating under a partial consent decree since 2015 to update its infrastructure to reduce combined sewer overflows that discharge into the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. The authority is developing decree updates and a final consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A plan was submitted in 2018, and Capital Region Water has continually been engaged with both EPA and DEP to reach a final, approved long-term control plan as well as a schedule of near-term actions to be implemented for substantial clean water progress.

On Friday, December 17, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania approved the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper’s request to intervene in the decree case.

Since 2013, Capital Region Water has invested more than $170 million to improve its water and wastewater infrastructure. As part of its City Beautiful H2O Program, Capital Region Water will spend hundreds of millions more to meet state and federal clean water requirements. Enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act creates new opportunities, with Pennsylvania set to receive $1.4 billion over five years for water infrastructure improvements.

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