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State wants more time to review plans from Unity, Latrobe to relive sewage overflow

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The state wants two more months to review competing plans from the Latrobe and Unity municipal authorities to resolve a sewage overflow problem that occurs during heavy rains, Unity officials said Wednesday.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has extended its deadline to May 20 for reviewing the plans, said Kevin Brett, the Unity municipal authority engineer. The DEP had set a March 19 deadline to review both plans.

To clarify any questions the state may have about Unity's plan, Brett said, he wants to meet with DEP officials and technical staff.

The Unity supervisors backed its authority's plan to remove about 3,200 customers currently served by the Latrobe Municipal Authority and connect those customers to Unity's system.

But the Latrobe Municipal Authority in February rejected Unity's request to discuss amending a 1973 agreement. Unity officials want to amend the agreement so that Unity residents served by the Latrobe system could be switched to the Unity system if the Latrobe authority fails to solve the overflow problem.

Thomas Gray, manager of the Latrobe authority, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

If the Latrobe authority does not want to renegotiate its current agreement to tailor it “to current dynamics and environmental regulatory requirements,” Unity's authority wants to form a new joint authority with an independent consulting engineer and solicitor.

The Unity authority wants Latrobe's authority to restructure its board so that the representation from Latrobe, Unity, Derry Township and Youngstown reflects the number of tap-ins in those municipalities.

Latrobe's authority is violating the 1973 agreement but not renegotiating the deal, said Pittsburgh attorney Romel L. Nicholas, solicitor for the Unity authority.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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