Sen. McLachlan: Phosphorus Legislation Aims to Help Lessen Burden on Area Sewer Ratepayers

May 1, 2014

A proposal co-sponsored by Sen. Michael McLachlan which aims to help lessen the burden on greater Danbury sewer ratepayers has been approved by the state legislature.

The measure expands the number of municipalities eligible to receive increased Clean Water Fund grants for phosphorus removal projects. It does so by extending eligibility for the increased grants, which cover 50% of phosphorus removal costs, to all those with contracts entered into by July 1, 2018.

Several municipalities, including Danbury, are impacted by the new wastewater treatment plant phosphorus effluent discharge limits imposed by the state.

“These new limits have raised concerns about burdening sewer ratepayers with the expensive capital projects that would be needed to meet these new limits,” Sen. McLachlan said.

Sen. McLachlan noted that in order to meet the state’s phosphorus removal limits, extensive capital improvements which could approach $60 million would have to be made to the Danbury Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Because Danbury accepts sewage generated and conveyed from regional towns at its wastewater treatment plant, the project impacts ratepayers in Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, and Ridgefield in addition to Danbury.

“This legislation can help lessen the burden of the associated capital costs on greater Danbury sewer ratepayers,” Sen. McLachlan said. “It also levels the playing field for all municipalities competing for these funds.”

The bill received support from the City of Danbury.

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