Why didn’t this get letter of the week?
What good news that the Upper Blackstone treatment plant’s current upgrades are not only meeting the 2001 permit limits, but much to their credit, they are also meeting the new nitrogen limit of 5 mg/l, and they are close to meeting the new (correct) phosphorus limit of 0.1 mg/l for the 2008 permit. This success is to be applauded and we were pleased to see it officially reported in an editorial (Telegram & Gazette, June 20). There now seems to be little reason to go to federal court.
The city and the Upper Blackstone staff insisted that it would be next to impossible for a treatment plant of this size and present technology to meet both the new nitrogen and phosphorus limits without additional huge overhauls and exorbitant costs. But the plant has met the 5 mg/l nitrogen limit without any additional overhaul; and, according to the plant manager, is saving money in the process. Meeting the phosphorus limit, which the plant is close to doing, will take some upgrading, but nothing approaching what now seems to be a quite obsolete and inflated $200 million estimate of consultant Camp Dresser McKee.
Since the Upper Blackstone plant is so close to meeting the new limits, why not take some deserved credit, accept the new permit and spend the avoided legal fees on closing the now much narrower gap to comply with the Clean Water Act?
We all will benefit from this prudent approach. So will the Blackstone River.
DONNA M. WILLIAMS