Updated March 29 at 12:29am

Save The Bay calls for legislative action on cesspools

Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone has asked the the R.I. General Assembly to enact House Bill 6031 to reduce the number of cesspools in the state and to ensure cleaner, safer water, reduce beach and shellfishing closures, and better protect the public health. More

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environment

Save The Bay calls for legislative action on cesspools

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PROVIDENCE – Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone has asked the the R.I. General Assembly to enact House Bill 6031 to reduce the number of cesspools in the state and to ensure cleaner, safer water, reduce beach and shellfishing closures, and better protect the public health.

“Cesspools have not met state standards for wastewater treatment for over 40 years,” said Stone. “How long will we tolerate the damage done to our groundwater and drinking water by these antiquated waste systems?”

The current cesspool phase-out law affects properties that are located within 200 feet of the coastline of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island’s south coast. The proposed bill will apply to all properties when sold or transferred. It is a simple, clear and long-overdue change that would clean up Rhode Island’s ground water, waterways and beaches, according to Stone.

“We hear about beach closures from the Department of Health every time it rains as stormwater enters the Bay,” said Tom Kutcher, Narragansett Baykeeper for Save The Bay. “Less visible, but equally harmful, is the leaking of waste from cesspools into the watershed. It all eventually makes its way into the Bay.”

save the bay, tom kutcher, jonathan stone, groundwater, cesspools, narragansett bay, wasterwater treatment

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Providence1973

Jonathan Stone has completely missed the mark on this one and has clearly joined the ranks of the Occupy movement. In yet another example of scope creep, the overarching goal of a solid solution is lost to the need for immediate attention. There is already legislation in place for the phase out of cesspools - it's underway; but rather than allow that process to take place and address a more meaningful issue - the dumping of raw sewage from the various waste treatment plants during heavy rain storms, Mr. Stone takes the easy way out and piggy-backs on a current program. The waste treatment system is overburdened, as evidenced by the dumping. Is it really wise to expedite the connection of additional homes to a system that can't handle the load? Or are you banking on the more affluent coastal property owners to choose onsite treatment? Either way, you missed the point.

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