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Alabama-based Wastewater Facility Dumps Waste into Local River

A wastewater treatment plant near Tuscaloosa dumped 6,500 gallons of waste into the Black Warrior River, reports ABC Local, which happens to be just one of many such spills it says. The culprit: an aging infrastructure.

Alabama Department of Environmental Management released a report that detailed the discharge, the news outlet says, stating that the most recent dumping came from a plant lift station. The city said that it spends millions monitoring and maintaining waste management sites.

But environmental groups say it is not enough: “What happens is if any of these pipes malfunction or the wastewater treatment plant malfunctions, sewage can seep into rivers and lakes,” says Southern Environmental Law Center Sarah Stokes. “We really need to prioritize infrastructure.”

No drinking water has been impacted by the spill, say the state and local government there.

The Trump administration is advocating for improved infrastructure nationally. But it’s one thing to advance the notion of more infrastructure. It’s quite another to actually get the funds to build those roads, bridges and seaports. Part of the Obama administration’s prescription to get the nation out of the 2008 recession blues had been to invest the national treasure into those projects — things that were roundly lambasted by conservatives, who called them makeshift programs that only sent the nation further in debt.

If there is room for bipartisanship, however, this pursuit might be it. The country spends surprisingly little on infrastructure — 3% of gross domestic product. But it’s hard to find common ground when the president-elect is talking about tax cuts at the same time he is discussing government outlays for highways and byways. Trump, though, says his infrastructure plan is revenue neutral and that it will return $10 for every $1 invested.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” said Trump. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

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