Thursday, May 17, 2007

One Step At A Time

It's a small step, but it's a start. New York Sen. Charles Schumer pushed a provision through the Senate to have the Army Corp of Engineers study Oneida County's abysmal sewage system.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced today the U.S Senate passed a provision he authored requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive study to evaluate the waste water drain and disposal crisis in the Utica and Oneida County area.

Schumer called for a similar study last week.

The legislation cleared the Senate late Wednesday night and was passed as part of the Water Resources Development Act. The full legislation will go to a joint House-Senate Conference before final consideration by Congress.

Due to outdated infrastructure and limited capacity, untreated sewage from the sanitary and storm water sewage disposal is being dumped into the Mohawk River from the county sewer district, which consists of 13 towns and villages.

I appreciate Sen. Schumer's attention to the problem, but I sincerely hope we'll have a solution to the problem sooner rather than later. We're dumping a quarter of a billion gallons of untreated sewage into the Mohawk River, and by extension an entire network of waterways across the area, every year. The more we delay fixing the problem the more we contaminate the area's surface water supply.

Update:A helpful reader pointed out that Congressman Arcuri has been silent on this issue. That's of particular note since he holds a seat on the Water Resources and Environment subcommittee of the House, which specifically handles wastewater infrastructure improvements.