Pipeline bucks for sewer fix?

Published on Thu, Oct 4, 2001 by Meg Olson

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Pipeline bucks for sewer fix?

By Meg Olson

Representative Doug Erickson and a group of his Republican peers in the state legislature toured the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District’s (BBWSD) recently expanded wastewater facility and Blaine’s aging one last week. The visit provided an opportunity for the group to discuss plans for a regional sewer with representatives from the district, the city of Blaine, the Lummi Nation and the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District.

“A lot of people have been working hard to find a solution to our water treatment problems in a way that will respect the Lummi Nation and also clean up Drayton Harbor, which was the original intent of the project,” Erickson said. “Expanding the BBWSD facility is truly a win-win situation”

He also pledged to be part of the drive to find funds for the mega-project. “The reality is that local ratepayers alone can’t cover the cost of this project. We will need cooperation between local, state and federal officials to make it happen.” One source of funds Ericksen said was promising is the almost $13 million settlement the state will receive in compensation for the Whatcom Creek pipeline explosion. “The pipeline company is already paying for restoration in the immediate explosion area. These funds are for environmental restoration and protection. This project provides a rare mix of environmental and economic benefit.” Ericksen said. .

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