Friday, December 02, 2005

Houston socked with BIG enviro penalties

Wastewater treatment plants, even when they're falling apart, aren't a high priority with taxpayers and the politicians who represent them. Both prefer to get gung-ho about stuff like police and fire protection, something you can see on the streets.

Waterwater effluent, on the other hand, is pretty much out of sight, out of mind, even if it's not out of smell.

Sooner or later, though, there's a price to pay.

And for the City of Houston, the time has come today.

State enviro regulators have ordered H-Town to pay nearly $1 million in penalties for unauthorized discharges from 11 of its wastewater treatment plants. One fine is for $969,195. Then another fine of $17,500 was added for additional infractions that occurred at a later date.

Though Houston fell short of the million dollar mark for its crappy wastewater treatment plants, it went over the magic mark if you consider another $40,348 in penalties that were assessed against the city for air pollution infractions.

Congratulations, Houston. When you top the million dollar mark in environmental penalties in a single month, you've definitely reached international city status, along with Bombay, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, and so forth.

Us hayseeds in Brazoria County have a long way to catch up. This week in The Texas Register, for instance, only the county seat of Angleton managed to get its knuckles wrapped for defiling the environment, and all it was worth was a measly $4,960, with $992 of that deferred.
[texas register]

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