Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Monitoring Sewage Plants, Lobbying for the Sound, Reviewing Broadwater

Watching over the city … New York City neglected to have backup generators in place at two of its sewage treatment plants during the August 2003 blackout. As a result, millions of gallons of untreated sewage went into the East River and the Hudson River.

The failure to have backup generators and the sewage spill are violations of federal law. Because the city was already on probation because of environmental violations in its upstate reservoir system, a judge decided yesterday that the federal courts would oversee the city’s sewage treatment system for three years.

I can’t guarantee that this will be good for Long Island Sound, but it’s hard to think of how it could be bad. Four big sewage treatment plants discharge about 800 million gallons of treated sewage a day into the far western end of the Sound. A federal monitor with a skeptical eye might be a good thing. Here’s today’s New York Times story.

Money for sewage treatment …
Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound has been working to try to persuade the Connecticut legislature to put enough money in the Clean Water Fund to allow the cleanup of the Sound to continue. Leah Schmalz of STS/CFE met on Monday with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Another group, the Coalition for Funding the Environment, is working on it too. Leah said:

This last meeting was to get a group together in the same room to start talking about a potential plan -- more to come in the coming weeks!

Broadwater’s review … Last week I wrote that the New York State Department of State will have 60 days to decide if Broadwater’s proposal for a liquefied natural gas plant in the Sound is consistent with state policies for use of the coastal zone. Leah Schmalz sent me an e-mail politely pointing out that I didn’t know what I was talking about:

NYSDOS has 180 days after they determine that they have all of the necessary data and information (NDI) for their review. As of right now, they don’t have the application. When Broadwater gives it to them, they have 30 days to determine if it has the NDI. If so, the 6 months starts when they get their application (not FERC’s). If not, the 6 months starts when they have the NDI. Everything should be submitted into FERC’s record. Appeals must rely on FERC’s record.

Bryan Brown, meanwhile, pointed out that I didn’t give the whole story last week when I talked about the state coastal policies that Broadwater would have to comply with. There are also specific policies for the Long Island Sound coastal area, a discussion of which you can find here.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker