Posted by & filed under CSOs, EPA Updates, Frontpage, Sewers.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week issued its report on an audit it conducted of the timing of the construction of the combined sewer overflow (CSO) tanks required by the EPA as part of the Gowanus Canal Superfund remedy. The OIG undertook the audit “in response to an OIG Hotline complaint and congressional interest,” according to the report.

The audit concludes that the construction of the CSO tanks has been delayed by about six-and-a-half years, and cites a number of factors for the delay, including disagreements between New York City and the EPA about tank design and siting, the time required to acquire private land, the city’s pursuit of an alternate retention system, and historic preservation issues. While the audit mostly assigns blame for the delay to the city, it also cites EPA’s failure to more forcefully compel the city to abide by its administrative orders.

The OIG recommends that EPA closely monitor the construction of the tanks, and take decisive action if the city misses any future milestones in the construction process.

You can find links to the OIG’s full audit, an abridged summary, and a podcast version, here:

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