ST. LOUIS, Oct. 30 (UPI) — The part of the Mississippi River that flows past St. Louis must be cleaned up enough to support recreational uses, federal officials said.
“The people of St. Louis deserve access to such high quality water,” said Art Spratlin, a regional director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has ordered the Missouri Clean Water Commission to devise a plan to reduce the water’s bacteria levels, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.
The plan must address sewage overflows along 28.6 miles of the river overseen by the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, which has yet to settle a 2007 lawsuit filed against it by the EPA, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The sewer district already was planning to spend an estimated $6 billion to improve the system and reduce overflows before Thursday’s EPA order, Lance LeComb, a sewer district spokesman said.
“We will continue to spend billions of dollars for many years on the issue of overflows,” LeComb told the Post-Dispatch.
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