The Alexandria CSO Bill passed the VA House and Senate! The bill requires Alexandria to upgrade its failing combined stormwater and sewage system (CSS) by eliminating their combined sewage and stormwater overflow (CSO's) discharges (70 million gallons a year) from Outfall 001 to the Potomac River by 2025. That is the good news! It will go before the Governor in roughly 6 weeks.
The BAD NEWS is Alexandria Delegate Mark Levine tried to weaken the bill to start upgrades by 2024 but give Alexandria an unlimited time frame to complete construction/upgrades. He did not get what he wanted so he turned more than 30 House Democrats against the bill who voted against it. We believe they intend to send a strong message to the Governor to veto it or weaken the bill (amend the bill) in 6 weeks from now when they come back from break to revisit these bills. Session ends tomorrow.
It is clear the public who cares about the Potomac River would never support an unlimited time frame and want Alexandria's sewage dumping stopped as soon as possible. Delegate Paul Krizek and Senator Scott Surovell should be thanked for their leadership and standing strong for the Potomac River by voting against fellow Democrats. The bill actually passed in the Senate 32-7-1 with great support. Senators Saslaw and Barker (D) from Alexandria voted against it.
Unfortunately, 35 House Democrats, many who represent Potomac River communities, flat-out voted against eliminating raw sewage discharges to the Potomac River! This is truly unbelievable! House Republicans actually called out Democrats for voting against stopping sewage dumping into the Potomac River. You should too!
TAKE ACTION! I urge residents of Alexandria and communities downriver to call Delegate Mark Levine (and other Alexandria lawmakers who voted against the bill) today to let him (them) know:
1) 70 million gallons of raw sewage discharges to the Potomac River is unacceptable! Alexandria's sewage from Outfall 001 must be eliminated by no later than 2025! The public deserves a public hearing on this Long Term Control Plan!
2) Insist that he not interfere with the bill by encouraging the Governor or other Democrats from amending or opposing the current bill! He should support a sewage free Potomac River!
Alexandria has known about their sewage problem for decades. They have repeatedly delayed action and funding to stop sewage discharges to the Potomac River. Alexandria's proposed Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) is still before Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and has not even been approved nor does it allow for public comment. The public should have a say in this matter! The city still has no plan to eliminate raw sewage discharges from Outfall 001 for at least 20 years or more, which is why this bill is so important. Numerous cities around the country with failing CSO's have made CSO upgrades and developed LTCPs long ago. Alexandria is well behind almost every city in the US and must fix their failing sewage collection system.
Delegate Levine, who lives on the Potomac River, voted against eliminating sewage discharges to the Potomac on the 45th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act! The photo on his house Delegate page is a view from the Potomac River of the Alexandria waterfront! The Potomac River is the Nation's River and a drinking water supply for more than 5 million people!
Please share! Please call today! Be sure to leave name and address. You can call or all four state lawmakers from Alexandria! Please take a few minutes and stand up for the Potomac River.
Delegate Mark Levine
301 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314
Office: (571) 234-8481
Delegate Charniele L. Herring
Office: (703) 606-9705
Senator Dick Saslaw
Phone: (703) 978-0200
Senator George Barker
Phone: (703) 303-1426