Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:29PM - 132 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the public meeting concerning the city of Portsmouth’s Long Term Control Plan tonight at Shawnee State University (in the Flohr Lecture Hall of the Clark Memorial Library, 940 Second Street). The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Several years of negotiations between the City of Portsmouth and the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies will culminate in that joint public meeting attended by EPA officials this evening.

“I am very excited about the plan that we have developed with the EPA to make a series of sewer improvements that will address long-standing problems. We believe we have a plan of action that is affordable and practical and in the best interests of the citizens of Portsmouth.” Richard Duncan, the City’s Director of Wastewater and Flood Defense, said. “We are hoping for a good turnout. The meeting will be a good opportunity to address a lot of misinformation that is out in the community.”

The meeting will be attended by Barbara VanTil and Sudhir Desai of the Chicago office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Ohio EPA officials.

Duncan said the subject of the meeting will be an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that has been negotiated following discussions of the City’s Long Term Control Plan for its sewer system. The meeting will give the public a chance to be informed about the plans for improvements and also to ask questions and comment on the AOC before it is finalized.

The details of the AOC, which is currently in draft form, subject to revisions based on comments from the public, will be discussed at the public meeting. The draft AOC is now accessible to the public on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website (www.epa.gov/region5/water/portsmouth).

“In the meeting we will explain how the city will correct and seek to eliminate basement flooding and surface flooding in the Grandview Avenue area north of 23rd Street,” Duncan said. “It will also describe the city’s progress in improving sewers in the North Moreland area and efforts to reduce combined sewer overflows to the Ohio River.”

These and other issues are included in an implementation schedule contained in a proposed administrative order. Comments will be moderated by a representative of the Ohio EPA’s Public Information Office.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.

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