City of Jackson Moans Over Sewer Rebuild
September 5, 2012 Leave a comment
The City of Jackson’s sewer and water system is ill to say the least. News stories of raw sewage flowing in the streets regularly make the news. Not surprisingly, raw sewage spills violate the Clean Water Act. The Mississippi Business Journal reports that Jackson is looking at a substantial fine for CWA violations. Mayor Harvey Johnson is quoted in the MBJ article saying
It’s not fair to expect that local governments alone shoulder the burden of implementing this policy.
No offense Mayor, but that is exactly what the local government are supposed to do. The federal government doesn’t help out corporations with meeting their CWA requirements. In fact, municipalities typically come out far better than corporations when it comes to fines under the CWA. The MBJ cited the recent fines imposed on other municipalities
Chattanooga, Tenn. ($250 million of work, $476,000 fine), South Bend, Ind. ($509.5 million of work, $88,000 fine), and Kansas City, Mo. ($2.5 billion of work, $600,000 fine).
Based on that record, Jackson is looking at being required to upgrade to comply with the act and a fine of a few hundred thousand on the high side. Compare that with the fines imposed on private corporations. Massey Energy was hit with a $20 million dollar fine in 2008. In 1997, Smithfield Foods paid over $12 million in fines. BP has set aside billions for the expected CWA fines from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Sure, Jackson will have to come up with money and it will cut into what the City Council can
piss away spend on other pet projects, but it has to be done. You just can’t have raw sewage flowing in the streets.