A federal judge in Miami signed a legal agreement forcing Miami-Dade County to make $1.6 billion in sewer system repairs over the next 15 years.
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno made the consent decree between the county, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Environmental Protection official last week, the Miami Herald reported. The deal was in the works for more than two years, following federal and state complaints over the county’s alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and other pollution laws. Regulators say Miami-Dade did not prevent sewage from leaking out of ruptured pipes and dilapidated pump stations.
Under the decree, the county must meet numerous deadlines to complete a series of capital improvement projects to avoid fines. Some are already underway.
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade still has to resolve a dispute between the two contracting firms bidding for much of the work. A special committee selected Los Angeles-based AECOM over Colorado-based CH2M Hill in January. [Miami Herald] — Eric Kalis