Wednesday, August 21st, 2013...2:34 pm

Jobs and Pipelines

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I have been noticing a lot of talk lately about the proposed keystone pipeline and all the jobs it would or would not have created.  Then I stumbled across this interesting article from Daily Progress about how tighter environmental regulations are creating a “boon” for the stormwater industry (there is a connection here, I promise) . The article is specifically talking about new developments, but it got me thinking about how our Country’s stormwater system is really a pipeline system….and how it really needs some work!

Let’s consider all the regions currently relying on combined stormwater and sewage systems:


According to the USPEA, there are roughly 40 million people, residing in 772 communities that are regularly exposed to the public health threats associated with  combined sewage overflows. According to Rose, et al, 2011 ” if climate variability increases, current and future deficiencies in areas such as watershed protection, infrastructure, and storm drainage systems will probably increase the risk of contamination events”.  Let’s all agree that this is not good.

You know what these communities could use? Pipelines!

Seperate stormwater pipelines!  Miles and miles of them.  How many “person years” of work would be created if we got to work separating these systems? (No, really- is there an economist out there who can figure this out?).

Of course I know  this is not a magical solution– separate stormwater systems are not without their problems, and  all of this costs money, an estimated 50.6 Billion dollars over the next 20 years to be exact. However, for perspective- when economists utilize the  “social cost of carbon” estimates , it’s expected that the Keystone pipeline will generate 72.3 Billion dollars in costs.

I’m far (far!) from being an economist, but I think this is interesting. Everyone wants jobs, and if we must have pipeline related jobs- which ones would really be better for our Country?

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