Mayor Horrigan Announces Federal Court Approves Consent Decree Amendment No. 3

Akron, Ohio, Dec. 28, 2023 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has announced the federal court overseeing the city’s Consent Decree program, has granted the city’s third amendment. The United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, has approved the amendment to allow Akron to construct a “right size” 16.5-ft diameter tunnel in place of a 24-ft diameter tunnel along with the sewer separation of the Rack 34 combined sewer area. Based on the city’s improved and updated modeling, the “right size” Northside Interceptor Tunnel (NSIT) will provide for control of combined sewer overflows (CSO) beyond the typical year rainfall event and the elimination of combined sewer overflows from the Rack 34 area. This amendment will save Akron’s ratepayers an estimated $50M bringing the total savings to $215M during Mayor Horrigan’s tenure.

The Court found that the amendment was fair, adequate, and reasonable, as well as consistent with the public interest. The amendment was supported by U.S. and Ohio EPA.

“Akron continues to meet and exceed the requirements of the Consent Decree while continuously looking for ways to reduce costs for its ratepayers and to provide environmental benefit to its citizens and the region,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “I’m proud of the outstanding work this team has done to clean up our waterways while also pursuing any and all cost-savings for our ratepayers.”

As part of this project, the CSO Rack 34 area (generally bound by Riverside Dr. to the north, Big Falls to the west and Drexel Ave to the south) will be provided with new storm sewers and the existing combined sewers will be repurposed as separate sanitary sewers. This will eliminate combined sewer overflows from this area.

The NSIT has the same Consent Decree required completion date of December 31, 2026. However, the sewer separation for Rack 34 will be in service earlier, prior to December 31, 2024, resulting in the elimination of overflows. With the completion of these projects, Akron will be capturing 99% of the wet weather flows entering the combined sewer system and reducing the original annual number of CSO events by 99.7%.

This is the third successful amendment to the Consent Decree. They have all provided greater environmental benefit, earlier than required by the Consent Decree. It is estimated that these three amendments have saved the Akron rate payers $215 million.

A fourth and final amendment is still pending in the Court and could provide an additional $150-$200 million in savings.


Additional project information and a video are available on the Akron Waterways Renewed website: The Northside Project | Akron Waterways Renewed!

CONTACT: City of Akron Press Office or 330-375-2345