New York, NY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is standing by regulations that will force New York City and other municipalities to spend billions of dollars on projects that provide virtually no health benefits, the Bloomberg administration said in a letter to the agency’s chief.
“America’s cities are seeking a rational policy developed through constructive engagement but are being largely ignored,” Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and the commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, Caswell Holloway, wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Mr. Holloway said EPA regulations are “unnecessarily driving up” the cost of water in New York City. Water rates have increased by 134% since Mr. Bloomberg took office in 2002 and more than 91% since 2006. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2010, the city has spent, at the behest of federal mandates, nearly $15 billion on capital projects for its water and wastewater system. Roughly 1% of that was paid for by the federal government, city officials said.
The 15-page letter, provided to The Wall Street Journal by the city, accuses the EPA of failing to follow through on President Barack Obama’s call for a comprehensive and meaningful review of the agency’s rules and regulations.
Brendan Gilfillan, an EPA spokesman, said the agency will consider the city’s comments “as we will all comments” prior to finalizing the regulations. He added: “EPA is aware that cities across the country are facing difficult budget situations, and we have worked closely with New York City and others to identify innovative, cost-effective solutions—like expanded use of green infrastructure—to protect Americans’ water.”