Baltimore officials today approved a $1.6 billion update to the city’s existing consent decree, realigning the city’s goals and deadlines for fixing its troubled sewage system. Among the changes: the city plans to finally start paying you back when you have to scramble to clean up putrid overflows into your pipes or basement.
As expected, the Board of Estimates approved the plan at its meeting this morning. The update applies to the consent decree that city leaders negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment and signed back in 2002. Under court order, the city was forced to update its century-old sewer lines and other infrastructure to stop the ongoing leaks of millions of gallons of sewage into the Baltimore Harbor. The deadline was 2015, which, in retrospect, was a bit shortsighted.
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