Friday, September 16, 2005

Connecticut's Sewage-Spill Investigation is Now 135 Days Old. Any Results Yet?

It's now been 135 days since Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced that the state was investigating the biggest sewage spill on Long Island Sound in years -- the 12-million-gallon spill that went on for days in East Haven in late April-early May. (See here and here).

I wonder how it's going, or even if it's going. One would think that over the course of 135 days, investigators could interview a lot of people, check a lot of records and permits to see if a violation occurred, and look into damages to natural resources.

However at the risk of stating the obvious, three things come to mind:

Perhaps, in the best case, state officials are diligently doing their jobs and carefully looking into the incident, and that it really does take almost five months to figure out what happened.

Or perhaps they investigated and quickly determined that it was no big deal, that nobody did anything wrong, and that no violations occurred. That certainly was the state DEP's attitude early on, when an official was quoted as saying that mother nature would take care of the problem. I can understand why, if that were the result, they'd want to keep it quiet: who would believe that a 12-million-gallon sewage spill violated no regulations?

Or finally, maybe there never was a state investigation to begin with, and that Blumenthal said there was just because it's one of those things you say when you think you might feel some heat but then you realize there really is no heat because the only person paying attention is a some self-appointed guardian of the Sound who lives in New York and happens to have a blog. (I hope that's not it, for more reasons than one.)

Certainly the the news media hasn't paid attention to it. Nor has the Sound's environmental community.

So what's up with the 135-day investigation?


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