skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Federal judge blocks AZ law that 'disenfranchised' Native voters; government shutdown could cost U.S. travel economy about $1 Billion per week; WA group brings 'Alternatives to Violence' to secondary students.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Senator Robert Menendez offers explanations on the money found in his home, non-partisan groups urge Congress to avert a government shutdown and a Nevada organization works to build Latino political engagement.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

NY Town Faces Similar Infrastructure Woes to Jackson, MS

play audio
Play

Tuesday, September 6, 2022   

A small city in New York faces water infrastructure issues similar to the ones making national headlines in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mount Vernon has had water infrastructure problems for decades. In 2020, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York slapped the city with a permanent injunction for not addressing sewage-discharge issues, and for violating Environmental Protection Agency administrative notices.

Adrienne Hollis, vice president of environmental justice, health, community revitalization, and conservation for the National Wildlife Federation, said the city's sewer system has gone without significant investment for too long.

"In the past three years alone, they've had 900 sewer backups," Hollis pointed out. "I think it's just a matter of time. You have clay sewer pipes that are designed in three-foot sections, and they're breaking. So, I think we're going to see this in Mount Vernon and in a bunch of other cities where infrastructure hasn't gotten the attention that it so badly needs."

According to a National Wildlife Federation report, cost estimates for upgrading the aging sewer system are from $125 million to $200 million. This year, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the state will invest $150 million toward improving Mount Vernon's water infrastructure, which should remedy the longtime issues.

With the sewage-system upgrade now a priority, there is also a concern about the impact of flooding. Earlier this summer, Mount Vernon's infrastructure problems led to massive flooding in the area. Hollis is concerned overall, the level of flooding might worsen with the effects of climate change.

"Not only will we have storm-related flooding, but we're going to have, as sea level rises, we're going to see chronic flooding," Hollis asserted. "And in communities that are located in low-lying areas, or in areas with insufficient infrastructure to handle that overflow, we're going to see this and worse."

The homes in Mount Vernon affected by the flooding and other sewer-related issues could be eligible for the Mount Vernon Healthy Homes Program, a $3 million pilot program for free repairs to reduce environmental hazards, and make high-risk properties more resilient to weather and infrastructure problems.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Damage seen on Maui after catastrophic, wind-driven fires swept through the area. (Brea Burkholz/Direct Relief)

Social Issues

play sound

A California group formed after the firestorm that leveled the town of Paradise is stepping up to help Maui recover from its own disaster last month…


Social Issues

play sound

Skills for reducing violence are becoming essential in schools. At the beginning of the school year, students at a Washington state high school …

play sound

The age-old theory that opposites attract has been debunked. According to analysis of more than 130 traits in a study that included millions of …


The New York City Mayor has declared a State of Emergency due to the 113,000 migrants who've arrived since spring of 2022. (pressmaster/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report questions New York City Mayor Eric Adams' latest budget proposal for dealing with the city's influx of over 110,000 migrants. The cost …

Social Issues

play sound

A federal judge has blocked a 2022 Arizona law that voting-rights advocates say would have made it harder for some Native Americans to vote. House …

UAW members are asking for 36% raises in general pay over four years, as well as the return of pension plans for new workers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of U.S. auto workers remain on strike, and the walkout is being felt in Minnesota. A rally was scheduled this morning in the Twin Cities …

Environment

play sound

If states like Minnesota are going to meet their climate goals, experts say younger workers will need to step into the roles to make it happen - like …

Health and Wellness

play sound

In rural Arkansas, access to healthcare can be a distant dream - literally - as almost 60 counties in the state do not have enough providers to serve …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021