Veolia Water Wants St. Louis
The St. Louis City Water Division faces challenges like many cities in the 21st century- costly challenges that must be met with commitment, transparency and accountability.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is contemplating a partnership with Veolia, a French multi-national corporation known for privately operating water systems and for its businesses involving hazardous waste disposal, garbage, transportation, water and sewage systems.
You can read the contract here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/120846549/St-Louis-Veolia-Contract
Veolia has created a website purporting to refute our claims, however it refuses to post the contract, because it prefers to post its slick proposal- not the legally binding document.
With your help, we have stopped the contract. With your commitment to defending St. Louis water, we can keep it stopped.
Water is critical. It is the ice in our freezer, the water in our coffee, our soup, our infant formula, our beer, our shower, our bath, our laundry, our sprinkler, our baptismal, and 2/3 of our bodies.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also hosted a hearing on Veolia's Sauget Hazardous Waste Incinerator February 19th. See details here.
According to a story broken by the Riverfront Times, St. Louis city lawyers have been negotiating a $250,000 contract with a foreign company, Veolia Water North America, for advice on cutting costs in the City's Water Division- St. Louis' public drinking water system which also supplies St. Charles.
Why is this an environmental issue? Why is this a consumer issue?
The St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment (E&A) may consider the contract at any time at its meeting held every 3rd Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Room 200 at City Hall (Call Mayor Slay's office to confirm 314-622-3201. Sometimes they reschedule).
If you live in St. Louis or St. Charles, you drink the water and you pay for it. About 60% of St. Charles water is from the City of St. Louis.
Please take action. Tell St. Louis to Dump Veolia!
Comptroller Darlene Green: 314-622-4389
Mayor Francis Slay: 314-622-3201
Lewis Reed: 314-622-4114
Dump Veolia - Save Money, Save Our WaterVeolia Water is a major subsidiary of Veolia Environment, a private, for-profit, French multi-national corporation based in Paris with operations reaching around the globe and the largest water privatization business in the world. The company operates sewage treatment plants, drinking water plants, landfills, hazardous waste incinerators, and transportation systems.
In reports by news organizations like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters and nonprofit organizations including - Water for All, Polaris Institute, Global Exchange, Novato Friends of Locally Operated Wastewater, Public Citizen, Public Water Works, and Food & Water Watch (here, here, here, here, here), you will encounter over and over again problems in water and other facilities operated by Veolia and the subsidiaries it controls.
Communities have begun dumping Veolia because of costly problems. Even Paris dumped them in 2009.
Join St. Louis Dump Veolia's efforts!
Keep Veolia out of the St. Louis City water supply
Even though Veolia cited its work in Indianapolis as a successful model to guide its work in St. Louis, the contract in Indianapolis was terminated by city because of concerns about overcharging, low water quality, falsified water quality reports, staff cutbacks, cutbacks in water testing, water treatment and maintenance (see: Indiana-Veolia-Cause 43645 6-30-09 11Indiana Utility Regulation Commission, Final Order)
In its proposal to the St. Louis Water Division, Veolia extensively references its work in Indianapolis as a successful model that could inform Veolia's guidance in St. Louis. Under Veolia's management, Indianapolis' water record included:
In 2005, a federal grand jury subpoenaed four Veolia Indianapolis employees as part of an investigation into allegations that the utility falsified water quality reports. The probe began amid accusations by Indianapolis council members that the company had cut back on staffing, water testing, treatment chemicals and maintenance.
In 2010, with infrastructure needs mounting and Veolia demanding more than the city could afford, Indianapolis canceled the contract more than 10 years early, for which they were forced to pay Veolia an additional $29 million. The nonprofit Citizens Energy Group took over, positioned to save the city more money than multinational Veolia was ever able to.
Veolia's record demonstrates how the company operates, profits and exploits public utilities.
In other Veolia divisions- sewage treatment and water systems- the company’s record is no better. Volumes have been printed documenting the company’s shortcomings. Here are a few:
There's more from California, Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, Delaware, Belgium, Gabon, and Australia...You can dig deeper at the links above.
The extensive information about this company’s record across the country and around the world makes it clear that St. Louis should dump Veolia and find U.S. companies with good performance records to help solve the challenges of outdated water infrastructure.
Thanks for taking action!
Please help spread the word.
5 Minutes from the Arch at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus
Distance Learning Lab, Room 2083, Building B
601 James R. Thompson Blvd., East St. Louis, IL
The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a Public Hearing on the Veolia Hazardous Waste Incinerator Clean Air Act Operating Permit. The agency is changing the heavy metals feed rate limits and monitoring requirements.
Join us in urging the agency to increase monitoring on all incineration units on site in order to ensure that the community is not exposed to an additional burden of heavy metal exposures, especially mercury. Mercury can pollute waterways and become a factor in human health through the consumption of fish. Mercury exposure interferes with brain and nervous system development. Methylmercury, the form it takes in fish, can lead to deficits in cognitive thinking, memory, language, motor and visual spatial skills in children who are exposed in the womb, which is why pregnant and nursing women are warned not to eat fish.
An air operating permit contains all of the air pollution requirements that apply to a facility. This includes limits for certain types of air pollution as well as what facilities must do to monitor and report their air pollution. The US EPA is making changes to the company’s air operating permit and is holding a hearing where the public can submit comments. EPA is proposing changes to some of the pollution limits for specific hazardous emissions. These pollutants are known or suspected to cause serious health problems such as cancer or birth defects, and are referred to as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Hazardous waste incinerators are regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The CAA protects human health and the environment from the harmful effects of air pollution by requiring reductions in the emissions of the most dangerous air pollutants.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the legal or technical aspects of an environmental decision, your voice matters! By participating in the process, you can provide input about how environmental decisions are made and impact you. This is an opportunity for community members to express their thoughts and concerns related to this facility and air pollution.
For more details and documents please call Kathleen Logan Smith at (314) 727-0600.