Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Happened at the WWTP?

Earlier today, the news was received that there had been some sort of malfunction at the waste water treatment plant, and an untold amount of "raw water" (yes, that's what you think it is) spilled into the yard and possibly beyond. When a concerned Hudson rate-payer went to the plant to investigate what had happened, he was told to leave and unceremoniously escorted off the premises. 

This behavior by those in charge at the waste water treatment plant piques one's curiosity even more, since Article 13 of the 2008 Sewer Use Ordinance specifies that plant operations should be open to the public: "It shall be the policy of the City to conduct all business [at the plant] with full disclosure to the public."

Perhaps what is meant by "WWTP Operations Open to the Public" is that the public has access to the documentation of those operations not to the operations themselves. That is certainly the impression given by the signage on the fence around the plant.



  1. Does anyone really think there is full disclosure about anything in Hudson?

  2. It seems that "full disclosure" is open to interpretation in Hudson. Full disclosure is a discretionary thing.

    If the City's "Sewer Use Ordinance" only refers to sewer documents and policies when it says that the "Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations [are] Open to the Public" (Section 1301), then why would a subsequent section (1303) have to specify that "the City shall formulate procedures to make available to the public for inspection such orders, statements of policy, and interpretations used by the City in administration of this Ordinance"?

    (Actually, what does that sentence even mean?! I believe it was written by Cheryl Roberts.)

    In 2013, the New York State legislature passed the "Sewage Pollution Right to Know" law. Please take a look at the protections it offers us against the old regime of mismanagement and malfeasance in the operation of sewage treatment plants:


    If there's a spill of raw wastewater, then the public must be notified.

    But where have Hudson residents been notified? This morning there was enough lime spread on the ground at the treatment plant to suggest a rather large spill, but the public actually had to inquire about it only to be ejected from the property?!

    Going by the new "Sewage Pollution Right to Know" law, the City of Hudson is actually a threat to public health. This city threatens our well-being.