One

Eruption begins--raising the manhole cover

Two

Back of manhole cover raises

Three

Lid raises all around

Four

Shows spread of spill on roadway as it subsides

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4 South Monsey Road, April 16, 2007--two o'clock in the afternoon

This is the site where $300,000 was recently spent to correct the recurring problem of spills that flow into the Saddle River. The fix was part of a Consent Decree ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection after it had fined Rockland County Sewer District #1.

When a spill occurred last month at this site, Supervisor St. Lawrence denied that it had happened, arguing with the resident who had witnessed and taken photos of the spill. Today's event also brought out the Supervisor, but this time he didn't argue with the resident--who was again on hand (the manhole is right in front of his house in Airmont). St. Lawrence just said they would have to begin the second and more involved attempt to fix the problem this summer. What that will cost is still undisclosed. Also unknown is how this event and the major spill downstream at the Saddle River Swim and Tennis Club would affect the lawsuit Upper Saddle River has filed against the Sewer District for violating the Federal Clean Waters Act.

Christopher St. Lawrence is a member of the Rockland County Sewer Commission and is responsible for dealing with these illegal spill events. We at Preserve Ramapo also believe his Master Plan, which downzones much of the Town of Ramapo, is the single greatest factor in these continuing and dangerous failures of the sanitary sewer system. For a chart of the 100+ spills over the last 5 years that have resulted in 3.5 million gallons of raw unprocessed sewage spilled into our streets, yards, houses, and waterways visit here. The outrageous building development the Supervisor has encouraged has far outstripped what the system can handle, and there will be a crushing reckoning that, unfortunately, will be loaded on to those residents who are taxpayers.