- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Here's hoping new DEP Commissioner brings real change to water rates | Bronx News Networkbronx

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here's hoping new DEP Commissioner brings real change to water rates

Water rates are again coming back into the news in the annual reporting of outrageous increases set forth by DEP and rubber-stamped by the Water Board.

According to the Staten Island Advance, New Yorkers should expect another double-digit increase this year in the neighborhood of 14%. Going back over the last four years we have seen increases of 12.9%, 14.5%, 11.5% and 9.4%. The average single-family homeowner bill is expected to top $1,000 for the first time, and the impact on affordable housing will be significant to say the least.

As the article points out, we should continue to expect these large annual increases as the formula has not changed: increased capital costs at DEP and decreasing water usage across the City.

One can only hope that some changes are on the way with new Commissioner Cas Holloway. According to the Daily News, Holloway has instituted an across the board 8% spending cut in his first month on the job, while bringing the Bloomberg bullpen to his new agency.

Two water related blogs continue to put forth proposals for further changing the way water rates are structured. Waterblogged.org has a post about submissions for innovative design solutions that manage runoff from roadways that flood the sewer system and cause raw sewage to be dumped into our waterways.

Water Watch NYC has recently posted three ways to save DEP, including instituting storm water fees and revamping the Mayoral-appointed rubber-stamping Water Board to actually act as a regulatory agency over DEP. The way the agency handled the recently revealed rate study, for which DEP "shelled out millions of dollars for a report with no conclusions or recommendations" is a perfect example of why both DEP and the Water Board are dysfunctional partners in crime.


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