In an effort to help cities combat the effects of combined storm and sewer overflows (CSSO), U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, announced a plan that would authorize $1.8 billion over five years for a grant program to help financially distressed communities across Ohio update their aging infrastructure. The proposed bill will provide a 75%-25% cost share for municipalities to use for planning, design, and construction of treatment works to control CSSO.
CSSO have had devastating impacts on small communities such as Youngstown. Heavy rains in June produced an overflow that has been determined to be the primary cause of a large fish kill in Lake Newport, Ohio. As part of the city’s plan to fix this issue, an agreement has been struck with the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection agencies. Youngstown will spend more than $146 million over the next 18 years to upgrade its sewer system and remove the combined sewer system that has repeatedly polluted the Mill Creek Park. 
Speaking from the Mill Creek Park’s Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, Ohio, the location of repeated CSSO events, Brown said his legislation is aimed at helping cities with outdated combined storm and sanitary sewer systems, such as Youngstown, improve water quality. Brown claims that his proposal will achieve this goal while keeping municipal sewer rates affordable for residents and commercial businesses. 
Within the legislation, Brown is seeking to promote green infrastructure projects through the reopening of Long Term Control Plans. The National Association for Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) which represents the sewer districts, has endorsed the legislation. 
 The Valley’s Homepage. UPDATE | Proposed bill would authorize $1.8 billion for grants to fix old sewers, water. The Valley’s Homepage, Vindy.com.