Suffolk County Sewer Project Long Island, New York

Reasons for Cost Increases and Other Matters Gao ID: CED-77-44 March 22, 1977

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the Southwest Sewer District of Suffolk County, New York, $135.5 million for construction of a sewer system. Total estimated costs for the system increased about $1 billion from 1969 to 1976.

Inflation was the primary factor causing the overall cost increase. Other factors were a longer than anticipated construction schedule, higher interest rates, and changes in the scope of the project and the cost of engineering services, which were based on a percentage of costs, and therefore increased in proportion to total costs. No violations of applicable regulations in effect at the time were found in the selection of and fees paid to the consulting engineers. The county had performed some limited audits of project costs, but EPA had not. EPA inspected construction for the first time in December 1976. As of November 1976, state reviews were still underway.

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