Keokuk signs order of consent with EPA

The city of Keokuk has 20 years to finish separating its sanitary and storm sewers.

That project is underway, but for the past two years the EPA has tried to get the city to sign an order of consent to complete it.

The agency has even threatened the city with fines.

The city did not want to sign it because it did not want to admit its sewers had been polluting the Mississippi River.

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Mayor Marion finally signed that order of consent last week (12/30).

After some negotiating, Keokuk and the EPA agreed on a 20-year deadline to separate all the sewers across the city.

"Part of the agreement is that we make no admission as to pollution, that's the other essential thing that was changed that encouraged me to sign it. In other words, we deny any allegations. It's a consent, we agree to this, it can be filed in court, but we make no admission that we polluted," said Mayor Marion.

The sewer separation project will cost at least 77 million dollars.

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