Better East Texas: City of Tyler, TCEQ fight will cost taxpayers - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: City of Tyler, TCEQ fight will cost taxpayers millions


The City of Tyler recently reached a settlement with the federal and state government which will end a more than decade-long fight over the condition of Tyler’s waste water system.

Since 2005, the EPA and the TCEQ have been threatening the city because the infrastructure of Tyler's waste water system is aging and wrought with problems.

The result is that dozens of times a year on average, the Tyler sewer system is overwhelmed due to rain run-off or clogged lines and sewer water overflows the system.

The consent decree between the City and the EPA and TCEQ will cost the city north of a half million dollars. This settlement ultimately costs the taxpayers through higher water rates but the real expense will come in infrastructure improvements estimated to be $30 million or more over the next decade.

So, we have had a decade-long fight and now a decade-long solution to a decades-long problem. The city would say the federal and state government has been a huge adversary in this and in some ways they have, but it is the job of the federal and state government to monitor and enforce when necessary. But it certainly would have been easier for them to take a solution-based approach as opposed to a punitive threat approach.

It doesn’t appear on the surface that either side worked toward that end. But City of Tyler residents will get a much-improved system. It will cost a lot but there is a plan in motion, finally, and that will make for a better East Texas.

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