New Rules Threaten Sewer Bills; JEA Must Spend $150 Million to Comply with Tougher Water Pollution Standards

By Richards, Gregory | The Florida Times Union, December 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

New Rules Threaten Sewer Bills; JEA Must Spend $150 Million to Comply with Tougher Water Pollution Standards


Richards, Gregory, The Florida Times Union


Byline: GREGORY RICHARDS

New federal water pollution standards being proposed for the St. Johns River could increase sewer rates by as much as 30 percent, according to JEA. The city-owned utility would be required to spend an estimated $150 million over the next few years to bring its 18 wastewater treatment plants into compliance.

The new standards, resulting from litigation over pollution levels, are expected to reduce nutrient levels that caused large stretches of the waterway to be blanketed with a green film of algae-like bacteria last summer.

The Environmental Protection Agency this month announced the new standards, which would require a 60 percent reduction in nutrients in the saltwater section of the river that flows through Jacksonville and a 40 percent drop in the freshwater section, south of Black Creek by Green Cove Springs. The federal standards will go into effect in January and replace less stringent state limits that were briefly in effect before being set aside by the EPA in October.

Nutrients come from such sources such as sewage and lawn fertilizer, and they are among the worst pollutants in rivers, environmentalists say.

The state limits were overturned as a result of a lawsuit filed against the EPA by the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Tallahassee-based Clean Water Network of Florida. The lawsuit alleged that the state limits would not maintain proper levels of dissolved oxygen in the river. Dissolved oxygen is vital for maintaining aquatic plant and animal life.

The EPA made its decision to change the standards while the case is proceeding.

Jim Dickenson, JEA's chief executive officer, said the state levels were adequate and that the change was unnecessary.

"Spending money on a technicality . . . without knowing what it is going to get you is very disturbing," Dickenson said, adding that JEA remains committed to protecting the river's health.

JEA customers will eventually shoulder the cost of needed upgrades through higher sewer charges, he said.

In addition, the city could be forced to spend more money to meet tougher discharge requirements because of its storm water systems that flow into the river. The impact of that is unknown, said Susie Wiles, Mayor John Peyton's spokeswoman.

Local builders had been worried that a court-ordered moratorium on new water discharge permits before Jan. 23 would halt home construction in the region. But the federal judge hearing the lawsuit last week clarified the ruling to prevent such an interruption.

Neil Aikenhead, who represents builders and developers on a committee that has been working to implement the state standards, warned members in an e-mail last month that environmental groups were exploiting a "legal loophole" to force the tougher standards and that it "would be a crime against the environment" should they go into effect.

"I would note that this crime would be perpetrated by the St. Johns Riverkeeper, who while claiming to be working for the river, is in fact knowingly doing the exact opposite," he wrote.

Aikenhead, in an interview this week, softened his stance and called the wording of his e-mail "unfortunate" and that he meant to say it would be a "crying shame" if the committee's efforts were to go to waste. The committee comprises government agencies, environmental groups and businesses, along the river.

But environmental groups contend the stricter standards simply uphold state water quality standards. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

New Rules Threaten Sewer Bills; JEA Must Spend $150 Million to Comply with Tougher Water Pollution Standards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.