WALLINGFORD —The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection won’t require an environmental impact report on the town’s plan to upgrade its aging wastewater treatment plant, the agency announced.
The water pollution control facility, 155 John St., has not been renovated since it opened in July 1989. It’s slated for upgrades to be performed in two phases.
Since all proposed upgrades would take place within the existing plant site and design flow of the phosphorus removal would remain the same, DEEP announced recently that it determined there will be “no significant environmental impact” and an environmental impact evaluation is not required.
“They’re correct in their assessment,” said Public Utilities Director Richard Hendershot on Wednesday. “The ultimate design flow of the plant won’t be appreciably different than it is now.”
The plant upgrade plan has been in development for about a year, Hendershot said, and DEEP officials are making their final evaluations.
DEEP also said in its announcement that the project won’t need an additional review under the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act.
The first phase of the project will address state-mandated phosphorus limits that will become stricter on April 1, 2022. The second phase will upgrade other plant equipment and processes.
A new phosphorus removal process is part of the first phase.
The plant discharges into the Quinnipiac River. Phosphorus is considered an environmental hazard because it causes algae bloom, which depletes oxygen in water bodies and poses a threat to wildlife.
The total cost has been estimated at $55 million. The town may be eligible for about $23 million in state funding. The remaining $32 million would be paid through a low interest state loan.
Comments on the decision and requests to review supporting documentation can be submitted to Max Fan, of DEEP’s Municipal Wastewater Division, at (860) 424-3670 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments must be received by Sept. 19.