Friday, July 29, 2016

Enviros Ask Baltimore to Clean up It's $#!* Faster

Environmentalists seek say in Baltimore sewer overhaul
Contending that the latest plan to fix Baltimore’s leaky sewage system has some big holes in it, Blue Water Baltimore wants a say in the new deal struck between the city and state and federal regulators.

The environmental group filed a motion Wednesday in federal court seeking to intervene in the update of a 14-year-old consent decree that would give the city another 14 years to fix chronic sewage overflows and leaks that have long rendered its harbor and streams unfit for swimming or other human contact.

Halle Van der Gaag, Blue Water Baltimore’s executive director, said the terms of the new decree left her no choice, and her board unanimously agreed to file.

“There’s definitely some improvements (over the old one), but there’s just a whole lot of stuff that’s not in there,” Van der Gaag said.

To settle a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit filed in 2002 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore city signed a consent decree pledging to end its frequent sewage overflows by January 2016. But despite spending nearly $900 million since then on repairs, the overflows and leaks continue.

City officials asked regulators for – and received -- more time to pursue more and different upgrades.  The additional work, including a major overhaul at the city’s Back River wastewater treatment plant, is expected to cost another $630 million -  which city officials say necessitates more increases in utility customer’s sewer bills.
Yep. 14 years is entirely too long to give a city to stop shitting in the waterways. No politician wants to spend money like that during his term in office. It's just too easy to put off.

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