Cape Cod’s waters are at risk from nitrogen pollution but the region’s towns have been slow to implement solutions.
Ineffective septic tanks release high levels of nitrogen in wastewater which can cause toxic algae outbreaks in the Cape’s waters, which in turn place people at risk, harm fish and wildlife, and dampen tourism. CLF released the following statement in response to today’s news.
“Pollution from septic tanks has pushed Cape Cod’s waters to the brink of disaster,” said CLF attorney Maggie Nivison. “Toxic algae outbreaks destroy our waters, sicken people, and threaten the Cape’s critical tourism economy. The state has finally taken this crisis seriously, and these new rules are a tremendous first step in finally combatting this pervasive problem.”
“The Hyannis wastewater plant is dumping sewage and pollutants directly into the ground, which invariably reaches nearby ponds, bays, and streams. Barnstable officials are running the Town’s sewage facility without a federal permit and have taken little action to stem this crisis and protect the Cape’s waters. We need to solve this problem once and for all, as the region’s bays and ponds are heading past the point of no return.”
“Septic pollution is driving Cape Cod’s waters to disaster,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “The state has finally taken this concern seriously, but we will be reviewing the proposal to assure that it is strong and effective in solving this problem. Toxic nitrogen pollution destroys our waters, sickens people, and threatens the region’s tourism economy, and it has no place in Cape Cod’s waters.”
“Cape Cod Bay is not a dumping ground for toxic waste,” said Heather Govern, Vice President of Clean Air and Water at CLF. “Alternate methods of disposal for the radioactive water are available and Holtec must abandon all efforts to dispose of it in the bay immediately. The effects on the health of the bay, marine life, and the public are largely unknown but could be disastrous.”
“Bourne is trading short-term economic gain for long-term pollution,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of CLF’s Zero Waste Project. “The Bourne Landfill is already leaching toxic garbage juice into groundwater, and this expansion will only make matters worse. It’s time to stop looking for more places to bury waste and get serious about reducing trash before it reaches incinerators and landfills.”
“For years, our state and local leaders have allowed wastewater systems to cause the scourge of toxic algae in Cape Cod’s bays and ponds,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “It’s time to turn off the tap and stop the flow of wastewater pollution into the Cape’s waters. Residents and visitors deserve to enjoy healthy bays and ponds, and officials need to solve this problem once and for all”
“Sewage and harmful pollutants are leaking from this wastewater plant directly into nearby estuaries, bays, and streams,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “For too long, Town officials have skirted legal requirements and taken no action to prevent nitrogen pollution and protect the Cape’s waters. The area’s water pollution crisis demands action now.”
“Wastewater pollution is one of the greatest issues facing Cape Cod,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “We’ve known for decades that this pollution is destroying the Cape’s bays and ponds and threatening to drag property values and the economy down with it. Residents clearly understand the urgency of this crisis, and it’s about time our officials to end the pattern of do-little and delay and commit to solving the problem. ”
“These three entities have utterly failed to protect Cape Cod’s waters,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “We’ve known for years that septic systems across the Cape are dumping waste into the bays and ponds the region depends on for tourism. Until they get this problem under control, the installation of new systems and the inspection of properties with existing septic must be halted.”