Federal court: Sewer district can seek state money

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A federal appeals court says the sewer district in St. Louis may try to force the state to pay part of the cost of improving its system.

The amount of money the state would pay, if any, is unclear.

Two years ago, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Missouri sued Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District in federal court, alleging the district improperly discharges raw sewage.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week for the district, saying it could seek state money for part of the cost of improving its system to comply with the outcome of the suit.

The sewer district says it hopes any settlement would balance the needs of the environment and ratepayers.

The state attorney general's office says Missouri does not have any liability. State officials have not decided whether to appeal the ruling.

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