Monday, May 02, 2005

Should the New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority be Fined for the Sewage Spill?

A person could logically expect that a sewage spill of 12 million gallons constitutes a violation of the state permit under which the New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority operates its sewage treatment plant.

Does the Connecticut DEP plan to levy a fine for the permit violation?

A person could also imagine that the damage done to shellfish beds in the New Haven area requires compensation to the fishermen who for the time being are prohibited from harvesting shellfish.

Is the Connecticut Attorney General contemplating a natural resource damage suit?

This reminds me of what John Cronin, who was the Hudson Riverkeeper from about 1982 until 2000, once said:

“Everybody wants to be an exception, and the government goes along. Big business thinks they’re an exception because they employ a lot of people and are important to the economy. Small business thinks they are an exception, because – hey, the point isn’t to go after the little guy, is it? Municipalities insist that they have to be exempt because they represent the taxpayers who the laws are meant to protect. So the result is, nothing much ever gets done.”


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