EPA May Step in After Several Sewage Leaks in Wilmington


-- After another 70,000 gallons of raw sewage oozed from broken pipes near Hewlett's Creek Saturday, state leaders and even the Environmental Protection Agency are asking when it will stop.

Senator Julia Boseman says the frequent sewage spills plaguing the area are a "degradation to the quality of life in the city Wilmington." Now she's calling upon state and local leaders to take the blame and find a solution.

Boseman sent out a letter to city and county managers asking them come together to come up with some answers. Boseman thinks the two spills last week which put raw sewage into Hewletts Creek, disrupted traffic, and concerned neighbors are a step backward for the city.

Wilmington is already facing a moratorium for sewage expansion on the Northeast Interceptor pipeline and a fine from a spill over the summer. Boseman says Wilmington will most likely face similar sanctions again.

"You know I think there's going to be some fines coming down from the state and the moratoriums not being lifted on the NEI, and I don't really know what the consequence are going to be. We've had numerous sewer spills in the city and the county, and it's time to stop," says Senator Boseman.

If the sewage spills don't stop, officials with the EPA out of Atlanta say they're going to step in with permit violations to ensure the water quality in New Hanover County. If the state and local governments fix the problems, they say they may not get involved at all.

On Wednesday, city, county and state leaders will meet to discuss what the next step will be.

Reported by Kim Gebbia