Zeroing In On Baltimore's Sewage Crisis
Last month, the Environmental Integrity Project issued a report, commissioned by the Abell Foundation, that finds that hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage are being pumped into Jones Falls and the Inner Harbor, and that the city has consistently under-reported the volume of the raw waste that is released from its aging system of pipes. In 2002, the city signed a consent decree with the EPA and the MD Department of the Environment to settle a lawsuit requiring the city to fix this enormous problem. To pay for the fixes, the city tripled our water and sewer rates. The Department of Public Worksestimates that about $700 million dollars has been spent so far on improvements to the aging system, but last week, after 13 years, the city missed the deadline to complete the work. Tom Pelton is the lead author of the study, which is called Stopping the Flood Beneath Baltimore’s Streets. He joins Tom Hall in the studio. Joining the conversation by phone is Jeffrey Raymond, the Chief of Communications and Community Affairs at the Baltimore Department of Public Works.