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Green, gray or both?

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 
The public-works investment that will be ALCOSAN’s answer to a federal consent decree can be green, gray or shades of both. Gray is what ALCOSAN proposed to the Environmental Protection Agency — a series of underground tunnels.
 
But the Clean Rivers Campaign asks: “Why have ‘tunnel vision’ and bury our money in tunnels under the river when we can manage stormwater where it falls and improve our neighborhoods with green solutions?” 
 
City and county officials will join rate payers at a town hall meeting asking for your feedback at 7p Thursday at the United Steelworkers Building, 60 Blvd. of the Allies, Downtown. There will be snacks.
 
The Clean Rivers Campaign has been urging a greener solution to the region’s problems with stormwater run-off and collection and hopes to get ALCOSAN to work with municipalities and citizens’ groups to come up with strategies for stormwater collection in parks, rain gardens, permeable pavement, tree wells and green roofs.
 
The investment will mean rate increases to the consumer, and the consumer should have a say in what the public investment will entail.
 
Community benefits from green solutions, the campaign activists maintain, are living-wage jobs for local workers, flood reduction, more green space, improved water and air quality and healthier neighborhoods.

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