Letter to the Editor: Hold councilors accountable for sewage overflows

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The Torpedo Factory is a staple on the waterfront. (file photo)
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To the editor:

Volunteers at “Clean the Bay Day” should have made sure their vaccinations for typhoid and hepatitis were current.

Due to recent heavy rainfall, there were massive sewage overflows into the Potomac River alongside the North Robinson Terminal. Incoming tides pushed this foul water upstream, sloshing into the shallow waters and onto the shoreline of Oronoco Bay.

For too long, our elected officials have been unwilling to budget for fixes to Old Town’s combined sewer and storm water system, although that didn’t stop them from adopting a dubious “Eco-City” designation in 2008. Not until the 2017 Virginia Legislature embarrassingly imposed construction deadlines on Alexandria for mitigating the sewage overflows did our city seriously begin planning and financing long-overdue significant solutions.

We must hold longtime councilors accountable for the millions of gallons of sewage that has spewed into the Potomac all the while they have presented themselves as “environmentalists.” I urge Alexandrians to not vote for the following candidates:

Del Pepper, 1985 to present

Paul Smedberg, 2003 to present

Justin Wilson, 2007 – 2009 and 2012 to present

As for other officials seeking re-election, we must continue to press Councilors Willie Bailey and John Chapman, as well as Mayor Allison Silberberg, on the importance of fulfilling our Eco-City goal to “create an environmentally, economically and socially healthy city where people can live, work and play for decades to come.”

See you at the polls on June 12.

-Maria T. Wildes, Alexandria

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