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Source: Middletown Patch

Carpino Votes to Support Greater Public Notice for Sewage Spills

Sewage Right to Know Act awaits Governor's signing.

Posted: April 23, 2012
Originally Published: April 22, 2012

Protecting the public’s right to know, State Rep. Christie Carpino voted to support a measure telling the state they need to provide the public notice of sewage spills which have the potential to harm the public and the environment.

The bill, passed by the House and previously by the Senate, will have to be signed by the Governor to become law.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) must now provide notice of any unanticipated sewage spills and state waters that have chronic and persistent sewage contamination that poses a threat to public health.

“The 32nd District has several waste treatment facilities which impact many surrounding residents," Carpino (R, Cromwell) said in a press release. "This bill gives the public additional knowledge of any spill or overflow of a nearby plant. Residents deserve to know of any spills that could possibly cause harm."

DEEP’s website may include the overflow location, its anticipated duration, and its extent; and will also include the reasonable public health, safety or environmental concerns; and the public safety precautions that should be taken for the community

According to Louis Burch, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the discharge of untreated sewage is a significant cause of illness for the public due to the number of bacteria and viruses found in the waste. The economic impact to the state is estimated to be $1-$2 billion in losses each year due to beach closures.

“We cannot forget the damage done by Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and the discharge by 13 plants into our state’s waterways," Carpino said. "Many of Connecticut's water treatment facilities are aging and recent studies indicate 1.8 million to 3.5 million Americans are sickened due to discharged sewage each year."

Carpino represents the 32nd District, which serves Portland, Cromwell and part of Middletown.