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News Releases from Region 04

Knoxville Utilities Board Meets Major Consent Decree Milestones

Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)
404-562-9203, 404-562-8400

(05/27/15)-ATLANTA - The Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) has completed a mix of sewer replacement, rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance work together with two supplemental environmental projects throughout Knoxville and Knox County, as required under a 2005 consent decree.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Tennessee Clean Water Network were co-plaintiffs with the United States in the case and resulting consent decree against KUB. Compliance with the requirements of the consent decree demonstrate KUB's continued commitment to the protection of public health and the environment.

"KUB has demonstrated a serious commitment to address its long-standing sewage overflow problems by implementing the Partners Acting for a Cleaner Environment sewer improvement program and meeting major consent decree milestones," said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. "KUB's efforts have resulted in a dramatic 82 percent drop in SSOs between 2003 and 2014, ensuring improved water quality for the people of Knoxville."

The goals of the sewer improvement program are to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and maintain compliance with its Clean Water Act permits, in accordance with the consent decree. Through the program, KUB has completed 134 projects, replacing and rehabilitating over 275 miles of sewer lines, 6,971 manholes, building six storage tanks, constructing the first phase of two wastewater treatment plant projects and implementing its management, operation, and maintenance program.

KUB also completed two SEPs. The first was a lateral repair financial assistance program. KUB obligated over $2 million for the repair and replacement of residential private laterals and removal of illicit connections for eligible residential property owners.

Through the second, KUB provided funds to the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) to create the Williams Creek Urban Forest. TCWN purchased 21 subdivided undeveloped forested parcels along the creek totaling about five acres and the City of Knoxville added them to its parks system.

KUB has submitted over 100 reports and updates to the EPA and TDEC as it works to bring its sewer system up to federal and state standards.

KUB has until June 30, 2016, to complete all covered collection system improvements. All required treatment plant upgrades must be completed by June 30, 2021.

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