Beveridge & Diamond

Beveridge & Diamond Assists San Antonio Water System in Negotiating $1.1 billion Clean Water Act Settlement

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., July 26, 2013

On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of Texas lodged in federal district court in San Antonio a proposed consent decree with the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) resolving claims regarding sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).  SAWS  is a public utility owned by the City of San Antonio, providing sewage treatment and wastewater services to the city.

Karen M. Hansen, a Principal in Beveridge & Diamond’s Texas office, led the Firm’s team that represented SAWS. The team also included Washington office Principal and former EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, Steve Herman.

This negotiated Clean Water Act (CWA) Consent Decree represents the latest settlement in the federal government’s longstanding “wet weather” enforcement initiative. SAWS will spend approximately $1 billion over the 12 year term of the consent decree on various SSO reduction measures including focused inspection, cleaning and testing of pipe in the sewer collection system and targeted capital programs focused on SSOs caused by verified condition and capacity issues. SAWS already has reduced its sewage spills by 30 percent since adopting a remediation plan more than two years ago. Read the SAWS statement here.

Beveridge & Diamond represents several municipal water systems nationwide on SSO and combined sewer overflow (CSO) matters, as well as other CWA enforcement and permitting issues.  Read about our Municipal and Redevelopment Agencies experience. The Firm’s substantive experience with Clean Water Act regulation, combined with its enforcement and litigation experience before EPA and DOJ, uniquely position it to assist clients in this area. Read about our Clean Water Act experience here. For more information, please contact Ms. Hansen at, (512) 391-8040.