The wastewater treatment plant in Springfield, Mass., will soon be subject to a permit revision handed down by the U.S. EPA. The issue deals with the amount of nitrogen allowed in the plant’s discharge and dates back to 2016 when the Connecticut Fund for the Environment demanded action from the agency to reduce the levels.
Springfield plant management is staunchly against the permit revision and has specifically outlined its grievances for EPA, claiming the potential alterations would hinder the plant from utilizing its full capacity to clean wastewater.
The new permit is likely to significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen allowed in the plant’s discharge into the Connecticut River, a body of water that runs through four states. Heightened levels have led to recent harm to animal and plant life in Long Island Sound.
The plant is currently constructing new additions to the facility that will better handle potential overflows. Despite this, Springfield sewer and water’s executive director John Schimmel sees the revision as “flat,” failing to consider the plant’s growing capacity to handle more sewage.
“We’re doing a $100 million project [to start],” Schimmel said. “But then we’re getting a permit that’s potentially requiring us to spend tens of millions of dollars to now reduce the nitrogen that we’re bringing to the treatment plant.”
EPA expects to finalize the permit in the coming weeks and claims that it will not mean additional costs for the plant.