The original deadline in DeKalb’s consent decree with federal and state regulators passed in June. Thanks to years of corruption and mismanagement, the county was still a long way from compliance at that time.
A newly proposed modification to the consent decree would give DeKalb about 7 1/2 more years to accomplish its goals.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has touted sewer repairs as his top priority since taking office in 2017. He called Monday a great day for the county and for residents.
“First and foremost I want to say to our residents who suffered through these intolerable conditions, on behalf of our government, we apologize,” Thurmond said. “But I also want to say that this is a new day in DeKalb.”
In addition to the lengthy deadline extension, the proposed modification to the consent decree involves DeKalb paying a $1.05 million fine; additional oversight from environmental regulators; and a “capacity assurance program” that would allow the county to bank credit for repairs and enable some of the development that has been stalled by sewer problems to move forward.
The modification was filed in U.S. District Court late last week and is scheduled to be posted to the federal register on Tuesday. Once it’s posted there, a 30-day public comment period will officially commence.
Public comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ – ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611.
Comments should refer to “United States and State of Georgia v. DeKalb County, Georgia, D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-09497.”
A copy of the modified consent decree, including appendices, can be viewed below.