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From: "Citizens' Environmental Coalition" <
Sewage Overflows: Environmental Racism Struggle in Syracuse, NY
Posted 08/30/2002

For 3 years, community organizations including Syracuse United Neighbors have called, written, and rallied in support of the citizen movement on the southside of Syracuse for a fair solution to the problem of sewage overflows in Syracuse. Citizen direct action has risen in the face of a racist, suburban agenda to build a sewage plant in a RESIDENTIAL, AFRICAN AMERICAN neighborhood. Voice after voice rose up from the neighborhood and the entire City Council and the Mayor voted unanimously to refuse to cooperate with Onondaga County and NYState's plans to build a racist sewage plant where other plans are being implemented in other parts of the city where demographics differ.

Yet, despite the uproar, the County and State won't respect democracy! They're actually trying to take the land to build the plant anyway!!! Time to rise up and stop this thing before Democracy becomes a joke in YOUR town! The people of the residential ne! ighborhoods of Midland, Oxford, Blaine and surrounding streets have joined with others from around the city, the state of NY, and people from around the country who have had enough of environmental racism and are ready to put their bodies on the gears of oppression. We ask you to call Onondaga County Executive Nick Pirro and Gov. Patakišs Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and let them know:

1) Do not Destroy a Neighborhood of Working and Retired Families: We will
not tolerate the environmental racism of building a football sized sewage
plant in a minority, residential neighborhood. In other parts of the city,
the County has proposed to build storage underground and modernize the
sewers with sewer separation. We want our share because its our time to get
it done right!

2) Protect Human Health and the Future of Our Watershed: Since chlorine is
both dangerous to human health and the ecology of Onondaga Creek, we demand that no chlorination will be used to treat the sewage overflows in the
Midland sewage basin. Presently, the football-sized chlorine swirlers
proposed by the County were developed in the 1970šs. Wešve come a long way
since then with greener technologies. There is a growing movement in North
America to outlaw chlorine for use in sewage.

3) We Demand an Open Process Based On Modern Science: County Executive Pirro and NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservationšs Steve Eidt must embrace an open process to find modern technologies that improve our environment rather than destroy it! Syracuse sewers are 100-150 years old and crumbling. To
date, there has never been an adequate public debate over the best solution
for sewage problems. It was recently revealed that the County made an error
in their calculations of nearly 20 million gallons of sewage waste! With
nearly $400 million dollars at stake, how can these people make a 100% error
(from 38 million gallons to 19 million gallons) without losing their jobs?
Maybe its about the money! The County and Statešs embrace of the Fortune 500
Engineering cartel, Environmental Engineering Associates (EEA), has closed
the door to modern solutions. Proven, modern technologies such as ozone,
sewer separation, living machines and crystalization are mor! e effective,
cost less to operate and leave the environment better than we found it by
adding oxygen to the water or avoiding dangerous chemicals!


A duck don't know the difference
Between jurisdictional waters
And a pothole, if there's water
He'll land. Sometimes the law
Don't know the difference
Between a duck.

This poem is from Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs, in response to the US Supreme Court decision in SWANCC which deauthorized federal jurisdiction over isolated wetlands.

Maria Maybee
Habitat and Biodiversity Program Coordinator

Great Lakes United
Cassety Hall- Buffalo State College
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222
ph: (716) 886-0142 fax:-0303

All life is sacred.
Water is life.

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