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Jun 21, 2016 7:29 AM

EPA seeks approval for plant upgrade deal with Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has asked a federal judge to approve a deal reached with the city of Portsmouth about an $83.4 million plan to upgrade the existing Peirce Island wastewater treatment plant.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that the agreement, called the second consent decree, lays out the timetable for building the new plant. It has to be entered by the court before it can go into effect.

Officials say the agreement is imperative to the vitality of the Piscataqua River and Great Bay estuary, which have been harmed by the discharge of inadequately treated sewage.

City officials announced in March they reached a deal with the EPA to build a new plant and reduce nitrogen discharge. A bonding resolution to spend $75 million was later approved.

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