EPA Mandate Promises High Costs and Few Benefits
According to a Post-Dispatch article, the metropolitan St. Louis area can expect sharp increases in sewer bills during the next few years. Increases will be necessary to follow an EPA mandate that regulates how the metro area deals with sewage overflows regularly caused by inclement weather. The current practice of dumping excess waste in natural waterways will be replaced by an infrastructure project that could cost more than $4 billion.
Is it worth quadrupling the average household’s sewage tax to create an expensive system that offers help only sporadically? The EPA seemingly addressed potential problems with waste in rivers by requiring warning signs last year. Although this measure understandably wouldn’t satisfy conservationists, everyone should weigh benefits and costs, especially when replacing a system that has worked for a long time. The article also notes that current spillways include the Mississippi and the River Des Peres. Frankly, the current system poses no threat to anyone wise enough to stay out of already-polluted bodies.
Overly zealous environmental regulation should not be allowed to impose unnecessary costs on anyone, especially a targeted area with an sufficient policy already in place. Bullying like this only harms St. Louis’ economic condition, both in absolute and relative terms.