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“Norton Asks President for $40 Million to Quickly Address Flooding in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park”

by Prince Of Petworth January 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm 7 Comments

From a press release:

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today sent a letter to President Obama requesting $40 million to cover the city’s emergency construction of storm water storage tanks at the McMillan Reservoir, in addition to a $15 million installment to partially fund the District’s Clean Rivers Project. The extra $40 million is to alleviate the flooding that has plagued the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods in the District.

In her letter, Norton stressed the urgency of addressing the inadequate capacity of the city’s federally constructed combined sewer system, which has caused significant property damage and hardship for District residents this past year, noting that the city’s sewer systems also are necessary for the functioning of the federal government. Norton further wrote that “residents living in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods in the District suffered repeated and severe damage to their homes, including sewage backing up into houses as a result of intense rainfalls, which also flooded city roads…. The flooding is the result of insufficient capacity in the Northeast Boundary Trunk Sewer (NEBTS), which was constructed by the federal government in the late 1800s. Capacity limitations for this sewer were documented soon after it was built, but no substantive action was taken.”

Concerned with the devastating effects of the limited capacity of D.C.’s combined sewer system on our waterways, Norton has successfully pressed for annual federal funds for the city’s $2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project to eliminate combined sewer overflows into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek, including $15 million in fiscal year 2012. However, she said that this project will not address quickly enough the flooding in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods, and funds to keep further damage to homes and businesses are essential. Norton said, “Local and federal ratepayers will bear the bulk of the burden for these projects, but federal payments to help offset that burden are necessary because of the scope of the project.”

  • Seems fair. After all, the federal government uses the sewer infrastructure as well and benefits from not having flooded roads.

  • Eleanor Holmes Norton…proving yet again how useless she is in her role and what happens when someone runs virtually unopposed in her office for 21 years. She should have been done in DC politics when it was revealed that neither she or her husband (both lawyers) had failed to pay any DC income tax for 7 consequetive years, but alas this is the District, where that actually earns you “cred”.

    DCWater ran a 20 million dollar surplus in 2012 and the District just passed a 30 cent per month fee on everyone to pay for the upgrades to sewer lines servicing Bloomingdale. Why exactly is this the Fed’s problem?

    So what if they built it 132 years ago. She may mention some obscure documentation saying it was having capacity issues then, but so what. Basement flooding after heavy storms didn’t become an issue in Bloomingdale until the late 1980’s.

    It was a District Government run authority from 1936 until 1996, and then an independant authority as we see it today. The District Government ignored the issue for 60 years, and the private entitiy that it is today has ignored it for another 16 years. Why is it all of a sudden Uncle Sam’s fault?

  • Anonymous

    Like everything she does, this will be a failure that just fades away.

  • bb

    Congress wants to micromanage the District’s internal affairs? Here’s their chance. They can’t just promote abortion and gun control riders and not expect to be hit up for things that the District actually needs. I’m sure it won’t go anywhere, but at least this points out the hypocrisy of Congress’s stance towards DC.

    • Some buffoon from Arkansas who “tries” to amend District law has zero to do with a now privately run utility in DC failing to maintain or upgrade itself in the 30 years it has known of the problem.

      And @ Brookland Rez, the Feds already make annual contributions to DCWater for its sewer usage.

      This is a DC problem, and a problem the utility is already adequetly equipped to deal with as it is running yearly surpluses. Having Norton run off to the Fed’s for every single minor issue makes it that much harder for our important and legitimate requests to get attention.

      I mean, the District has a 6 billion dollar operating budget and has been running quarter billion dollar surplus’s the past few years, despite it hemmoraging vast sums of money in some critically mismanaged departments, and yet this woman goes off running to the feds when we get 2 inches of snow and have to spend 2 million dollars cleaning it up.

      If Brookland sewer remediation was a truly serious issue at the city level, they could pay for the replacement starting tomorrow in cash and not have to take a dollar from any existing city budget.

  • anon

    Not to ignore the larger issue, but … “Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton”? Is that an intentional dig at DC’s lesser status, or do they not realize that her title is “Delegate”?

    • Anonymous

      That text is a press release from her office. Her staff might not know the difference.


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