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  • Environmental and Cultural Services for the Long Term CSO Sewer Overflow Program
  • Environmental and Cultural Services for the Long Term CSO Sewer Overflow Program
  • Environmental and Cultural Services for the Long Term CSO Sewer Overflow Program

Environmental and Cultural Services for the Long Term CSO Sewer Overflow Program

Straughan Environmental, Inc. (Straughan) supported the District of Columbia’s Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) in efforts to improve their sewer systems and reduce water pollution. In the District, the wastewater sewer system is comprised of both combined sewers and separate sanitary sewers. A combined sewer carries both sewage and runoff from storms. When the capacity of the CSS is exceeded during heavy storm events, the excess flow is discharged into receiving waters. The excess flow is referred to as CSO and is a mixture of sewage and stormwater runoff. CSOs are a source of water quality degradation and a system deficiency requiring correction.

In compliance with the national CSO Policy at Section 402(q) of the CWA, DC Water prepared a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) to bring all CSO discharges into compliance with the technology-based and water quality-based requirements of the CWA. Subsequently, as a result of an enforcement action by the EPA, DC WASA, the District, and the United States entered into a Consent Decree to implement the LTCP. One project contained in the LTCP is the Anacostia River Projects (ARPs) The ARPs are intended to control CSOs to the Anacostia River and include Approximately 13 miles of tunnels and other hydraulic structures for the storage and conveyance of CSO for treatment and discharge.

Straughan prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the construction of the ARPs, in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969. The EA was prepared using the National Park Service (NPS) criteria, as NPS is the co-lead agency for the ARPs. Because the ARPs’ location, the project involves extensive coordination with other federal and District agencies that own property within the proposed project area and/or have jurisdiction over activities associated with the proposed project. In support of the EA, Straughan conducted a wetland delineation, a tree survey and forest stand delineation, and cultural resources investigations, including Section 106 coordination. Straughan identified and documented the existing conditions of the project’s study area, the environmental consequences of constructing and implementing the ARPS, and mitigation strategies for unavoidable impacts.

The EA was completed on an accelerated schedule to support the schedule mandated in the consent decree.

Additionally, Straughan supported the public outreach program for the ARPs. Straughan assisted in identifying project stakeholders and created the presentations used during community and public meetings. Straughan prepared a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in support of the Section 106 process and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document for the NPS.