Niskayuna officials submit sewer plan to DEC

Town Board amends local law enacting tougher drainage connection penalties

Niskayuna officials submitted their plan to address sewer problems to the Department of Environmental Conservation by the recent deadline. Now, officials are left waiting for the DEC's blessing or recommendations.

The DEC recently reached an agreement with the town regarding an order of consent to reduce the inflow and infiltration into the District 6 sanitary sewer system. Town officials could wait up to 60 days for the DEC's approval or rejection of their plan. If the DEC rejects the plan, it will provide the recommendations for what areas need to be addressed before submitting a revised plan.

During the Niskayuna Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25, council members unanimously passed a resolution to amend a local law to have stronger penalties for improper drainage connections.

This is all part of what we will be doing for the DEC consent order, said Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw about the amended law, after the meeting. "It is part of making homeowners or large apartment complexes and businesses more compliant with their [drainage connection]."

There was a public hearing held on the amendment during the meeting, but no residents spoke out about the change and board members didn't discuss the amendment before voting. The agenda provided to the public at the meeting included the new language for local law No. 15.

Under the old law, any person, firm, or corporation having improper drainage connections into the sanitary sewer system could face a maximum penalty of $50 and would be charged with a misdemeanor, which also included a maximum fine of $25. Now, any person or entity owning a single- or two-family dwelling upon conviction will be fined a minimum of $50 and a maximum $100.

Also, under the new law any person or entity owning a multi-family dwelling for three or more families or a commercial building could face the same minimum and maximum fines for every sewer unit. For example, if a business had 10 sewer units the minimum fine would be $500 with a maximum of $1,000.

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