EPA files lawsuit against Cleveland Heights

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department have filed a lawsuit against an Ohio city, saying it allowed raw sewage to flow into Lake Erie tributaries.

The Plain Dealer reports Cleveland Heights had denied any liability related to the sewage overflow alleged in the lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The city has signed a consent decree that requires it to take steps to upgrade its sewer system. Officials estimate the first phase of work will cost $12 million over the next four years, and customers can expect an $18.73 increase on their monthly sewer bill.

City Manager Tanisha Briley says the city is looking at the "most cost-effective and impactful remedies."

An EPA spokeswoman says the agency has jurisdiction over the city while the sewage problems are being addressed.

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