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WSA Updates Water Pollution Control Plan

Published: March 22, 2019 at 07:15 am

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Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members have unanimously approved an update to the town’s Water Pollution Control Plan, the document that describes the town’s strategy for controlling surface water and groundwater pollution.

Voting in favor of the revised pollution control plan on March 14 were WSA Chairman Marianne Brown, Gene Vetrano, George Hill, Richard Zang, and Carl Zencey. The WSA held a public hearing on the plan revision in February.

Generally, the plan delineates areas to be served by municipal sanitary sewers and the areas where sewers are to be avoided. The town operates two sewer systems — the central sewer system, which serves the borough and adjacent areas, and the Hawleyville sewer system, which serves the western section of Mount Pleasant Road and the southern section of Hawleyville Road and adjacent areas.

The central system discharges wastewater at a sewage treatment plant at 24 Commerce Road. The Hawleyville sewer system’s effluent is discharged at a regional sewage treatment plant on Plumtrees Road in Danbury. While the central system was built to control groundwater pollution caused by failing septic systems, the Hawleyville system was built to foster economic development.

Fred Hurley, town public works director, has said that the revised plan simplifies the document, resulting in the WSA not needing to revise the plans as frequently as in the past. The original plan was approved in 1995, with revisions made in 1999, 2009, and 2015. The revised plan should be a flexible, workable document for the foreseeable future, Mr Hurley said March 20.

The basic changes involve the document being more general about the amount of sewage treatment capacity the town is using and the amount of treatment capacity remaining at the central sewage treatment plant.

In November 2018, in response to criticism that had been leveled at the WSA over the proposed plan revisions, Mr Hurley explained why the WSA’s reasoning is sound and the revised plan makes sense.

In October, attorney Timothy Hollister, a lawyer who formerly represented land development firm 79 Church Hill Road LLC, had raised legal issues over the proposed revisions to the plan. The developer has had a lawsuit pending against the WSA since August concerning the developer’s controversial proposed Hunters Ridge rental apartment complex at 79 Church Hill Road.

The law firm at which Mr Hollister works, known as Shipman & Goodwin, has withdrawn as the developer’s attorney. That move follows First Selectman Dan Rosenthal’s criticism of the firm for both representing 79 Church Hill Road LLC, which is suing the WSA, while also representing the Newtown Board of Education on various education matters.

On March 8, in Connecticut Superior Court in Hartford, Judge Marshall K. Berger, Jr, granted the law firm’s formal request to be removed as the legal representative for the developer in the lawsuit on the proposed apartment complex. The developer is expected to hire another firm to represent it in the matter.

The WSA, which was formed as the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) in 1980 under the terms of a town ordinance, became known as the Water & Sewer Authority in 2004, when it also assumed control of the municipally-owned Fairfield Hills public water supply system.

 

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