J.M.W. Turner's "Chichester Canal" at the Tate Gallery, London

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Plumbing the depths of a sewer controversy

Story on Watershed Post website on Phoenicia sewer project. A local expresses a local's viewpoint.

Detail of a map showing the location of a proposed Phoenicia sewer district, the subject of negotiations between the town of Shandaken, the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection that broke down earlier this month. Source: Lamont Engineers's 2011 project report on the proposed Phoenicia sewer project.

A local's point of view.

This column had been on hold, waiting for another shoe to drop. Something was bound to change, and it did: New York City pulled a flawed sewers deal for Phoenicia off the table, while continuing to wave a big stick. By steadfastly ignoring all flies in the ointment it was offering, it readily assigns all blame for failing to seal a deal on Shandaken, and those ornery and ungrateful members of the proposed Phoenicia sewer district – all 200-odd potential members of it.

Of course I present a one-sided view, but this is mostly a one-sided conflict. The only power Phoenicia has is the power to say no, until we get something we can live with, not just now, but for well into the future. The CWC did what they could to develop the best plan New York City would agree to underwrite on its terms. Resistance would vanish immediately if New York City tangibly capped Phoenicia’s fears of unsustainable costs and liabilities arising now and/or down the road.

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