Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its bi-state program Save the Sound has filed with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Boston a Request to Modify, Revoke and Reissue or Terminate two permits that allow the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission to discharge treated and raw sewage into the Connecticut River. The municipal wastewater discharged by Springfield adds 2,341 pounds of nitrogen per day into the Connecticut River, which ultimately impacts the health and environment of Long Island Sound.
“For decades, the EPA, the authority that issues discharge permits in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has allowed Springfield to continue discharging raw sewage from 23 different locations during wet weather. Bacteria and nitrogen pollution from these discharges flow down the Connecticut River and into Long Island Sound. This is unacceptable,” said CFE/Save the Sound Staff Attorney Jack Looney. Excess nitrogen fuels algae growth that sucks oxygen from the Sound’s waters, causing dead zones each summer. Additionally, there is increasingly strong evidence that nitrogen pollution is a major cause of the coastal marsh degradation that exposes shoreline communities in Connecticut and New York to punishing storm waves.