Independence, Mo., to Fix Sewer Overflows for $35 M

The city of Independence, Mo., has agreed to improve its sanitary sewer system, at an estimated cost of more than $35 million, to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated sewage into the Missouri River each year, the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on April 1.

Under the terms of the consent decree, lodged in Kansas City, Mo., Independence will also pay a civil penalty of $255,000 and will spend an additional $450,000 on supplemental environmental projects designed to enhance Missouri River watershed by improving stormwater detention basins and stabilizing stream banks.

Independence also will be required to perform a comprehensive assessment of the sanitary sewer system, upgrade pump stations, and improve the sewer collection system, and wastewater treatment plant.

A complaint filed concurrently with a consent decree, alleges that Independence had numerous illegal discharges of untreated wastewater containing raw sewage from its sanitary sewer system. The sanitary sewer system transports the city's sewage to a wastewater treatment plant, which serves approximately 55,000 residential and 3,500 commercial sanitary sewer customers, for treatment prior to discharging it into area rivers and streams. Based on inspections, responses to information requests, and the city's regular reporting activity, EPA documented numerous violations of the Clean Water Act, including 430 sanitary sewer overflows resulting in the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the Missouri River since October 2000.

"With this settlement, the city of Independence is making a commitment to address its aging sewer system and comply with the Clean Water Act, which will improve water quality in the region," said John C. Cruden, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The consent decree was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and subsequent court approval. A copy of the decree is available at

Download Center

  • Waste Management in 2021: Accelerate Your Success with Technology

    Join waste management experts on February 23rd for a live best practice session webinar. You’ll learn how to take your waste program to the next level with visual location, barcoding, and mobility. Register now.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Reserve your copy of the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get a detailed, fact-based comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • Industry Safe