August 29 2007

Raw Sewage Overflow Right to Know Act

by Surfrider Foundation

As a Surfrider Foundation activist you should support the Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act, a federal bill that would require a standardized public notification process for sewage spills in America’s waters.

A summary of the bill includes:

Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act (HR 2452)
This bill is directed at preventing the sickness from waterborne illnesses that millions of Americans experience after coming into contact with water contaminated by sewer overflows. The bill mandates public notification of sewer overflows discharging waste into local waterways. The bill provides notification of sewer overflows by requiring sewage treatment operators to:
- Monitor their treatment works for sewer overflows using a management program or technology that will alert them of sewer overflows in a timely manner;
- Notify the public health officials, the general public and other affected downstream entities including drinking water suppliers of any sewer overflows that endanger human health; and
- Report to the state or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on all sewer overflows within 24 hours of becoming aware of the overflow and follow-up with a written report explaining the duration and volume of the overflow and steps taken to mitigate the overflow and prevent recurrence.

If you want to learn more, the Act for Healthy Rivers coalition has a very informative webpage at - be sure to watch the “Flushie” cartoon which truly brings to life (or “animates”) the gravity of the issue.