State and federal regulators approve 13-year extension for sewer work

State and federal regulators have given their official blessing to a plan that would give Atlanta 13 additional years to complete sewer upgrades required by a landmark 1999 order.The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia's Environmental Protection Division said Thursday that they support extending the deadline to 2027. "The proposed extension would reduce the financial burden on Atlanta ratepayers who are already paying some of the highest rates in the country, and allow the city to simultaneously address competing priorities to improve its drinking water system," the agencies said in a statement.

After a 30-day public comment period, approval by the U.S. District Court in Atlanta is required before the changes become effective.

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