Consent decree

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The entities that oversee Hamilton County's sewer fix have cut the Gordian Knot that is the fight between the county and Cincinnati. The regulators are imposing their own version of Phase 2A of the consent decree, as the county and city try to win approval for their competing plans.

The U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission have a $2 billion plan for the next stage of the storm sewer separation and renovation project. Hamilton County and Cincinnati went before a federal judge in 2018, each hoping to win approval of their Phase 2A visions.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A Metropolitan Sewer District investigation has determined why some Northside homes were flooded earlier this month. Interim Director Diana Christy says runoff from a heavy rain on June 15 and 16 escaped a couple of catch basins and flooded homes around Kirby and Virginia Avenues.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Updated at 2:30 p.m. with comment from the city.

Hamilton County commissioners say they have a plan to end the dysfunction at the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).

Metropolitan Sewer District

Hamilton County's plan for the next phase of the federally-mandated sewer system overhaul calls for using newer "green" technologies rather than traditional methods for dealing with waste and storm water.

An audit of the Metropolitan Sewer District has turned up nearly $780,000 worth of illegal or unauthorized spending. State Auditor Dave Yost's office released the findings of a two year investigation Friday morning.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Imagine this: You're outside a bar on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. A friend's boyfriend has stepped outside to smoke. He finishes the cigarette, and maybe there isn't an ashtray or a bucket nearby, and so he tosses it into the street.

Or, try this scenario: You're at home with one of those "flushable" wipes. You're done with it, so, you flush it.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has to submit a Phase Two plan for consent decree work by Saturday, but the two organizations that own and operate the utility are still negotiating over what to submit.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A federal judge will get an update on the future of the Metropolitan Sewer District Wednesday morning. Cincinnati and Hamilton County representatives will go before Judge Michael Barrett to discuss the process to replace a 1968 agreement that had the city operate the utility, anc the county made budget decisions.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Lower Mill Creek Partial Remedy Project (LMCPR) is already over budget, according to Hamilton County’s utility monitor.

Dave Meyer told the Hamilton County Commissioners Wednesday the original price tag for the project is at least $13 million short of what it will actually take to complete it. 

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati and Hamilton County have about two years left to complete the first phase of a program to reduce combined sewer overflows in the region.  It is part of federal consent decree finalized in 2006.  

There are 23 projects that must be completed by the end of 2018.  Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) Director Gerald Checco updated a council committee on the work Tuesday.  

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

After the first of two public hearings on the Metropolitan Sewer District's 2015 budget, one thing is clear: there's still a lot of animosity between the utility and Hamilton County Commissioners.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

As Hamilton County Commissioners are faced with raising sewer rates again, they're wondering if there's another way to find some relief for ratepayers.

Commission president Chris Monzel says "it's staggering, the amount of money that we have to put into this every year."

He's referring to the multi-billion dollar federal mandate to upgrade the county's sewer system.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann agrees. "Ratepayers are just getting absolutely soaked," he says.

Sarah Ramsey

They've had their differences, but it looks like the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are making progress on a plan to provide an adequate local workforce for the $3 billion project to modernize the Metropolitan Sewer District.