Oh Crap! Major Sewage Is Still Pouring Into New York Harbor

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A sewage plant in Maryland was also hit by Sandy, with similiar results.

This is the kind of crap (pardon the pun) that we have to expect when our country's leaders think it's more important to cut spending and make Wall Street happy than to address the politically painful topic of global warming. But man, it makes me gag just thinking about this:

Human waste has been pouring into New York Harbor from the fifth largest sewage treatment plant in the nation since it was hit by Sandy, and the operator of the plant cannot predict when it will stop.

A 12-foot surge of water swamped the Newark plant that serves some three million people when Sandy struck on Oct. 29. The plant has pumped more than three billion gallons of untreated or partially treated wastewater into local waterways since then.

Mike DeFrancisci, executive director of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, would only say "ASAP" when asked when repairs to the sprawling facility could be made.

Until then, the main outfall will continue dumping millions of gallons of partially treated human waste a day at a point close to the Statue of Liberty across from Manhattan.

"We've never had the facility flood like this," he said.

Pathogens in partially treated waste are a health hazard and public safety threat, officials said.

Fishing, crabbing and shellfishing bans in the New Jersey waters of the harbor will remain in effect, said Larry Ragonese, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection also issued an advisory to residents to avoid contact with the water.


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