(Centreville, MS - January 6, 2016) For years, Centreville, Mississippi residents have endured sewage overflows into their yards, homes and neighborhoods as the result of the city’s poorly managed sewage facility. Yesterday, Gulf Restoration Network filed a Clean Water Act Citizen suit against the city of Centreville to stop the illegal discharge of sewage from the Centreville South Treatment Plant into surrounding communities and streams.
The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleges that illegal sewage discharges into Stafford Creek and its tributaries are in violation of the Clean Water Act - the federal law designed to reduce pollution in waterways.
“This has been a long process and our sewage troubles have always been ignored,” Said Sherry Jefferson, affected Centreville resident. “We need to take this step because of health issues that have gotten worse over time.”
Centreville’s South Treatment Plant file records reveal that both the city and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) knew about the discharge problems in this low-income neighborhood for years.
“Centreville continues to allow untreated sewage to spill into the city’s streets, residential yards and surrounding water bodies – creating a public health risk and nuisance,” said Andrew Whitehurst, Water Program Director for Gulf Restoration Network. “MDEQ investigators have seen these problems, but instead of enforcing state regulations and ordering repairs, they tolerated sewage spillages in violation of the Clean Water Act and state regulations.”
GRN’s lawsuit seeks a judgment that will require compliance with the city’s discharge permit, and an order to ensure future compliance with the law. This will require long-needed repairs to the sewer system.
Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) is a 21-year-old non-profit dedicated to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the health of the Gulf of Mexico.