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senate Bill S. 937

Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedApril 30th, 2009

Bill Details

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Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to ensure that sewage treatment plants monitor for and report discharges of raw sewage, and for other purposes.


Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act - Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to require owners or operators of publicly owned treatment works to: (1) institute monitoring systems to provide timely alerts of sewer overflows; (2) notify the public within 24 hours after receiving knowledge of such an overflow in an area where human health is potentially affected; (3) notify public health authorities and other affected entities immediately after receiving knowledge of an overflow that may imminently and substantially endanger human health; (4) report each overflow on discharge monitoring reports to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the state; and (5) annually report to the Administrator or the state on the total number of overflows in a calendar year. Makes specified exceptions to notification and reporting requirements, respectively, for backups into single-family residences and overflows that occur in the course of treatment works maintenance. Requires annual summary reports by states to the Administrator. Defines "sanitary sewer overflow" to mean an overflow, spill, release, or diversion of wastewater from a sanitary sewer system: (1) including wastewater backups into buildings that are caused by blockages or flow conditions in a sanitary sewer other than a building lateral; and (2) excluding municipal combined sewer overflows or other discharges from the combined portion of a municipal combined storm and sanitary sewer system and wastewater backups into buildings caused by a blockage or other malfunction of a building lateral that is privately owned. Defines "sewer overflow" to mean a sanitary sewer overflow or a municipal combined sewer overflow. Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations, including to establish overflow assessment guidance and develop communications measures to provide notification under this Act. Provides procedures for review and approval of state notification programs after issuance of such regulations. Makes the monitoring systems eligible for state water pollution control revolving fund assistance. Provides that this Act does not limit a state's ability to implement or enforce a more stringent monitoring or notification standard than the applicable standard under the Clean Water Act.

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