The Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District, ostensibly a body appointed to reduce pollutants getting into the Blackstone River, has decided to take the federal Environmental Protection Agency to court for being required to reduce the level of pollutants going into the Blackstone River.

It gets weirder.

When this was announced, it received the whole-hearted support of the Worcester City Council, including one city councilor who seemed to imply it was un-American to try to clean up the river.

“The EPA has shown how out of touch it is with America,” declared Councilor Joffrey Smith, as quoted in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.It gets weirder still.

Pollution of the Blackstone River dates back to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. Over the past two decades, at least, the impact of these decades of pollution has been documented, and one of the major sources is the area around Worcester. Currently, the EPA’s concern is the level of phosphorus, which is causing rampant plant growth downstream and in Narragansett Bay, disrupting the ecosystm there. So, the EPA has set some limits to the amount that can be discharged from a wastewater treatment plant in nearby Millbury, to be phased in over a period of time.

All the scientific evidence to support this doesn’t faze the city’s public works commissioner, Robert Moylan, Jr., who called the limits “without scientific basis and will not result in meaningful benefits.”

He didn’t happen to mention how he knows it. He might have gotten this from his Ouija Board for all we know.

Their concern is what they consider the exorbitant cost of upgrading the plant to meet the new standards. This, they claim will put a terrible burden on the city’s ratepayers. Seems fair enough.

However, the fact is that city residents have been paying next to nothing up to now in sewer use fees. According to one study, the average household might see an annual cost of $100 to upgrade the plant. That’s $2 per week.

If any of these people are like me, they have cellphone service and app costs, internet service costs, cable television fees. All of which are significantly more expensive.

Now their city council and this mysterious board are going to file suit in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. How much will this cost the taxpayers of the city? As taxpayers, they’ll be paying the costs for both sides as well as court costs – since the EPA is funded with federal tax dollars, and the board by local tax dollars.

Is this ridiculous, or what?

Advertisements