Consent Decree

In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported Shreveport to the Department of Justice (DOJ). This was a result of multiple sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) that had occurred over the course of several years. Immediate action had to be taken. Further deterioration of Shreveport’s sewer and water infrastructure had to be resolved to avoid litigation.

The City of Shreveport recently completed an extended negotiation with the EPA and DOJ to correct these deficiencies. To solve this negative impact on our aging sewer system and our environment, the City of Shreveport developed a Wastewater Master Plan and Remedial Measures Plan for each of the five phases of the Consent Decree as the investigatory work is completed. This plan outlines the work that is required as part of a Federal Consent Decree (CD). The objectives of the CD are as follows:
  • Avoids litigation between the City of Shreveport, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), EPA and DOJ.
  • Outlines a 12-year compliance schedule and includes penalties for each day a deadline is missed.
All municipalities operating sewage collection systems and treatment facilities in the United States are subject to requirements of the Clean Water Act. In Louisiana, the US EPA regulations are administered and enforced by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO’s) are violations of regulatory permit requirements for the two collection systems and wastewater treatment plants operated by the City of Shreveport. Since at least 2005, the City has reported numerous SSO’s to DEQ and EPA. Those continued violations resulted in a formal complaint from the federal government.
The United States, on behalf of the EPA and joined by the State of Louisiana, is the plaintiff seeking injunctive relief for the City’s continued violations of regulatory requirements. The City is the defendant in this civil action which resulted in a Consent Decree effective on May 13, 2014. The parties to the Consent Decree negotiated and reached a settlement of the issues raised in the complaint, which requires the City to develop and implement plans for continued improvement to eliminate SSO’s. The Consent Decree includes a 12-year compliance schedule ending on November 12, 2026.

The Consent Decree includes the following requirements.
  • Assessment and remediation of the sanitary sewer system in 5 separate geographical areas (Phases 1-5)
  • Evaluation and remediation of lift stations and force mains in 5 separate geographical areas (Phases 1-5)
  • Development of a computerized hydraulic model of the sanitary sewer system
  • Assessment and remediation of sanitary sewer system and wastewater treatment plant capacities
  • Development and implementation of a Collection System Management, Operation, and Preventive Maintenance (CMOM) Program
  • Establishment of a Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) control program
  • Development and implementation of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation and Preventive Maintenance Program
  • Preparation of specific periodic reports to EPA
  • Stipulated Civil Penalties (from $500 up to $2,500 per violation per day) for noncompliance