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Connecticut Town Raises Stink Over Sewage Discharged by State Prison

Connecticut Town Raises Stink Over Sewage Discharged by State Prison


The town of Cheshire, Connecticut has decided that if it has to take more crap from the Connecticut Department of Correction (CDOC), then it wants help to pay for it.

Discussions are underway between town and state officials to resolve a lawsuit filed by Cheshire in July 2012 that seeks to renegotiate the terms of an agreement with the CDOC, to require the state to help upgrade the town’s wastewater treatment plant due to the amount of sewage discharged from a nearby prison complex.

Officials have admitted, though, that the negotiations are not producing any positive results.

“We met with members of the Department of Corrections and Attorney General’s office to see if we could negotiate a settlement, but right now it’s in court just sitting there,” Cheshire town manager Michael Milone said in April 2013.

“In the meantime, we are hoping to appeal to some of the state agencies to resolve this – we are hoping to sit down and negotiate a resolution,” he added.

The current agreement allows for 350,000 gallons of effluent each day from the complex, which houses around 2,000 prisoners at the Cheshire Correctional Institution and the Manson Youth Institution. But town officials say that for years, the prison complex has discharged more sewage into the treatment plant than is permitted by either the town or the state.

“They have an agreement with the town that goes back to 1990 that says that they cannot exceed 350,000 gallons per day and they have consistently exceeded that for nine or 10 years,” Milone said. The town is seeking to increase the permit requirements to 450,000 gallons of sewage per day.

Cheshire officials also want the CDOC to contribute 25% of a planned $31 million upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant; the upgrade, scheduled to begin in late 2012, was estimated to take more than two years to complete.

“[T]he prison represents 25% of the effluence treated there, so the state should pay 25% of the cost,” Milone argued. He said the town’s lawsuit was prompted by the state Senate’s failure to pass legislation that would have required the CDOC to renegotiate its wastewater agreement.

“We’ve been trying to negotiate the host agreement since 2006, and we don’t feel they [state officials] have been negotiating in good faith,” said Milone. “We feel we’ve exhausted all of our options.”

Cheshire’s lawsuit against the CDOC remains pending. See: Town of Cheshire v. State of Connecticut DOC, Hartford Superior Court (CT), Case No. HHD-CV-12-6033159S.

Sources: Associated Press,,,


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Related legal case

Town of Cheshire v. State of Connecticut DOC