City of Lima, EPA continue to disagree on unfunded mandates
By Jeff Fitzgerald, Senior Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
The U.S. EPA sees their integrated plan, as it relates to Sanitary Sewer and Combined Sewer Overflow and safe drinking water, a lot differently than the City of Lima and for hundreds of other cities for that matter.
The City of Lima has long argued that the goals of the EPA, while admirable, are unfunded mandates that can not be paid for on the backs of its residents.
We told you Lima Mayor David Berger was in Indianapolis this week at a meeting of the U-S Conference of Mayors Water Council.
In attendance was the Director of the U.S. EPA Region Five office out of Chicago.
Region Five encompasses the Great Lakes region.
While the Director was touting the EPA's plan, Berger clearly stated his position that he wanted no part of the plan unless there is some financial relief, and they are given some time.
While Berger was in Indy meeting with the EPA's Region Five boss, some of her staff were in Lima discussing the same topic.
Utilities Director Gary Sheely says they have pushed for this meeting for 10 years. .
The EPA has concerns about the number of Combined Sewer Overflows Lima has per year. Lima averages 7 to 9 annually. The EPA wants only 4. Sheely says the talks will continue.
Berger says his integrated plan focuses on priorities such as police and fire, things they can afford to do. He believes Congress needs to step in and assist cities financially with these EPA mandates.