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Democrat Mayor In New Hampshire Slams Obama’s EPA

- June 4, 2012

Democrat Mayor Of Rochester, NH T.J. Jean (D-NH): EPA Regulations Would “Financially Cripple Our City”

In Congressional Testimony Today, Rochester, NH Democrat Mayor T.J. Jean Said EPA Regulations Will “Financially Cripple Our City.” “The purpose of my testimony today is to discuss with you the severe financial impacts which the regulatory actions proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency will have on our City and its citizens.  Rochester is committed to protecting the natural environment for the benefit of its citizens, and all citizens of our State. However, Rochester, and the other major cities in the Great Bay area, are concerned that the proposed regulatory actions, designed to protect the Great Bay,  are not based upon sound science and, if implemented, would do more than constitute a waste of scarce local resources – – it would financially cripple our City, prevent us from attracting and maintaining our business base, and impose  an  unreasonable financial burden on our citizens.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean Testified The Costs Of The New EPA Regulations On Rochester Will Be Devastating

Jean: The EPA’s Mandated Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade In Rochester Will Cost $20,500,000. “Our consultants have advised us that the capital costs related to upgrades to the City’s wastewater treatment facility necessary to comply with the proposed nitrogen and phosphorous limits would be approximately $20,500,000.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: These Regulations Will Affect My Children’s Future And “That Of All Rochester Children.” “We have two young children who we are raising in Rochester and who will also attend Rochester schools.  The proposed regulatory actions will significantly impact their future, and that of all Rochester children.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: Upgrades Will Cost $2 Million Annually. “Assuming a 20-year amortization period at 5.5% interest, this would result in additional debt service costs of approximately $2 million per year, beyond those I previously mentioned.  After capital construction is complete, additional operating costs required to meet these permit limits would be approximately $2 million per year, beginning in fiscal year 2016.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: These Regulations Would Drive Up Rochester’s Sewer Rates, Already Among The Highest In The Region, By 23 Percent. “The impact of these costs on our sewer rates is staggering.  The City’s current sewer rate is $6.11 per 100 cubic feet, already among the highest in the region.  Compliance with the latest EPA mandates would immediately result in a 23% increase in rates.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

  • Jean: By 2016, The Project Sewer Rate Would Double And The Yearly User Bill Would Be Over $1,200 Per Year. “The City’s current sewer rate is $6.11 per 100 cubic feet, already among the highest in the region. … By fiscal year 2016, the projected sewer rate would more than double to $12.50 per 100 cubic feet.  The estimated yearly user bill would escalate to over $1,200 per year in fiscal year 2016.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)
  • Jean: The Rate Increase Will Make It Difficult For Rochester Citizens To Make Ends’ Meet. “With respect to the impact on  our individual citizens a 100% rate increase  will certainly make it more difficult for our citizens to make ends’ meet, let alone have disposable income to spend in our retail and hospitality sectors.   These impacts will only be exacerbated if imposition of these mandates result in additional job losses.   Simply put, EPA’s latest unfunded mandate will have a  long term negative  impact on the City of Rochester, its businesses and citizens.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: Such An Increase In Sewer Rates Will Cause Rochester Businesses To Consider Relocating Outside Of New Hampshire. “Perhaps more significantly, an increase of this magnitude will provide a significant incentive for existing businesses to consider relocation to locations both within and outside our State with more reasonable sewer rates.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean Attacked The EPA’s Handling Of The Issue

Jean: The EPA’s Regulations And Limitations And “Not Based Upon Sound Science And Will Not Result In Demonstrable Benefits To The Aquatic Environment.” “However, the City has been informed by its  consultants that EPA’s new proposed nitrogen and phosphorous limitations are not based upon sound science and will not result in demonstrable benefits to the aquatic environment of the Cocheco River or Great Bay.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: The Way The EPA Handled The Matter Is “Not Acceptable.” “To cap it off, EPA prevented the municipal coalition from participating in a peer review that could have helped to set the record straight.   That is not an acceptable way for a regulatory agency to do business and that is why we need an independent review of EPA’s actions.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

  • For Weeks, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Refused To Meet With The Communities Which Would Be Affected By The Rule. “Two weeks after requesting a meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Great Bay Coalition Communities have yet to receive a response. As the communities wait, the state's congressional delegation is starting to apply pressure to the administrator's office. The communities of Exeter, Portsmouth, Newmarket, Dover and Rochester are seeking a meeting with the administrator in an effort to remove the regional EPA office, EPA Region 1, from the process of issuing nitrogen discharge permits for the communities' wastewater treatment plants along the Great Bay estuary.” (Aaron Sanborn, “U.S. Delegates Put The Pressure On EPA,” The Portsmouth Herald, 5/29/12)

And Jean Says That Rochester Has Already Been Hurting Under The Obama Economy

Jean: In The Last Three Years, Rochester Has Lost Over 500 Jobs. “It is no surprise that this recent economic downturn has resulted in significant job losses in our City.  In the last three years, Rochester has experienced 504 lost jobs, or 58% of the regional employment loss.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)

Jean: Rochester’s Tax Base Has Decreased From $2.36 Billion In 2009 To $2 Billion In 2011. “The City’s tax base, or Net Assessed Value, has decreased each of the last three years, from approximately $2.36 billion in 2009 to approximately $2 billion in 2011.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/4/12)


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