City foresees less financial strain following EPA meeting

Following a meeting with the EPA, DNR and other government officials, the City of Fulton will now be able to retain the current overflow basin for emergency use. Additionally, the city's deadline to update their wastewater system to meet new EPA effluence standards has been extended to 20 years.

Following a meeting with the EPA, DNR and other government officials, the City of Fulton will now be able to retain the current overflow basin for emergency use. Additionally, the city's deadline to update their wastewater system to meet new EPA effluence standards has been extended to 20 years. Photo by Dean Asher.

The City of Fulton recently received some good — and potentially cost-saving — news from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Natural Resources.

In his monthly column published in the Fulton Sun last week, Mayor LeRoy Benton reported that city officials met with several state and federal officials in a meeting on a review of the sewer plant discharge standards imposed on the city. There, officials learned that that the retention and overflow basin currently utilized by the city could still be put to use, and the current five-year improvement plan imposed on the city’s effluent system can be stretched into a 20-year plan.

Both mean more immediate savings for Fulton and its residents.

Benton said personnel from MDNR, EPA representatives, U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer, a member of Missouri Representative Jeanie Riddle’s office and Floyd Gizlow of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance attended the meeting, called by City Administrator Bill Johnson through Luetkemeyer’s office.

“I think the EPA officials came to the tale with compromise in mind,” said Benton. “It was a very positive meeting.”

Originally, the city was told the project would have to be completed within five years, and the city’s current retention and overflow basin used to hold excess water — typically following storms — would no longer be allowed for use. Now, the project can be spread out over a longer period of time, and the overflow basin may be retained and used as backup.

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