Your View: Positive environmental news calls sewer upgrades into question

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By Dino Drudi, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation recently announced that its biennial State of the Bay report gave the health of the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus grade, an improvement from its previous grade of D-plus and the best score since their first report in 1998. The report singles out Pennsylvania particularly for its lagging pollution controls.

Since I’ve always been under A-B-C-D-F grading scales, a C-minus is essentially a C, which is not only passing but also satisfactory. It is, frankly, not reasonable to return the water quality to pre-Columbian levels.

The $300 million expenditure the city seems anxious to make to address its combined sewage outflows appears frivolous when the bay’s health is satisfactory and other jurisdictions are lagging.

For almost 200 years, Alexandria’s combined sewers have been flowing into the bay, yet for most of those years the bay’s health was better than now. Alexandria’s combined sewers are not the problem, and a $300 million expenditure for a very marginal gain seems like a poor investment.

City Hall is confronted with enormous, unanticipated demands to fund the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and other needs and desires, but massive expenditures for sewer upgrades in the current budget cycle should not be among them.

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