Tuesday, December 12, 2006

DEP All Wet

In a shocking front page expose, the NY Times reports on the scandalous failure of the Department of Environmental Protection to adequately tabulate and collect the city's hundreds of thousands of water bills. As the paper says, "...at least on paper, tens of thousands of property owners have not paid a penny for water for at least two years."

What is truly alarming is that the agency is constrained from collecting because its record keeping is so bad that it couldn't properly defend its own billing in any litigation ("because its records are so unreliable"). Clearly this is one city agency that literally can't find its ass with both hands.

What makes all of this interesting to us is the fact that the DEP s the major roadblock in the way of approving the pilot program for commercial waste disposers. DEP estimates that it may cost the city $2 billion if these devices are legalized. Using whose calculations?

It is time for the City council to re-open this issue and remove any oversight role from this beleaguered department. The reality is that there is nothing that comes out of this agency that can be believed and until it is overhauled more responsible folks should be put in charge of this crucial waste disposal question.