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MSD Updates County On Consent Decree Work

Sarah Ramsey

The Metropolitan Sewer District continues work on some projects to reduce sewage overflows into local streams. 

Cincinnati and Hamilton County are co-defendants in a federal consent decree to bring MSD into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

These are so-called "bridge projects" because they're happening between Phase One, which has been completed, and Phase Two, which has not started yet.

Of the 20 bridge projects, 16 are construction projects, two are design-only and there are two studies.

So far, eight of the bridge projects have been completed and three more are underway and on schedule. One of the projects does not have a milestone completion date.

There are eight that will miss completion deadlines and officials blame those delays on COVID-19, right-of-way and engineering issues.

MSD Director Diana Christy said there will be an impact from this latest work.

"The overall volume reduction, so the overall overflow reduction, is going to exceed the original estimates for these projects," Christy said. "That is good news for the environment and public health."

MSD estimates Phase One of consent decree work resulted in six billion gallons of sewer overflows being eliminated.

Plus, Christy said officials are learning lessons from the bridge projects as they prepare for Phase Two.

"These are very important projects and going into Phase Two we are going to build off of this, and we'd like to take the positives and the lessons learned to have a better plan going forward," Christy said.

Through the end of the year, MSD expects to spend about $65 million on these bridge projects.

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Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.