A federal court in Ohio has refused to approve a proposed consent decree between EPA and the City of Akron, designed to resolve stormwater overflow issues, ruling that it was neither “fair, reasonable, adequate” nor “in the public’s best interest.”United States v. City of Akron, No. 09-272 (N.D. Ohio 3/17/11). After a two-day “fairness hearing,” the court ruled that the proposed consent decree was “little more than an agreement to agree” and that the timeline proposed was “too lengthy, too uncertain, and too dependent upon future agreement amongst the parties.”
The proposed agreement would have allowed Akron more than 19 years to remedy its combined sewer overflows. According to the court, “the [d]ecree does not contain a completed schedule for construction and upgrades” and “is not by any means a full resolution of the alleged violation.” According to press reports, the city will appeal the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. See BNA Daily Environment Report, March 22, 2011.