National Consumer Organization Urges Binghamton Elected Officials to Reject Veolia Contract

Sewer privatization can lead to degraded services, loss of local control of essential services, and higher costs for the public

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Clean Water

For Immediate Release

Binghamton, NY — Today, Food & Water Watch issued a letter to Mayor Richard David and members of the Binghamton City Council, amplifying the chorus of residents opposed to a proposed contract with Veolia to audit municipal wastewater services in Binghamton. The letter comes in advance of the next City Council meeting on April 21, where a vote on the contract is expected to take place.

In the letter, advocates warn that the proposed audit contract is a foot in the door on a larger sewer privatization deal, with significant potential negative outcomes for the city, including:

  • Sewer privatization can lead to degraded services;
  • Sewer privatization can result in higher costs for the public; and
  • Sewer privatization can leave communities without local control of essential services.

Veolia’s bad track record is also highlighted, noting multiple instances where cities had to foot the bill or take Veolia to court over improper water and wastewater management. For more information on Veolia, see their corporate profile here.

In response, Food & Water Watch Senior Organizer Eric Weltman issued the following statement:

“When a controversial international corporation with a scandalous track record of lawsuits and poor service comes to town and offers a ‘win-win’ contract, the red flag must go up. From Idaho to Massachusetts, Veolia has entered communities and disrupted essential services for the benefit of outsourced corporate profit — Binghamton must not suffer the same fate. Mayor David and the Binghamton City Council must reject Veolia and commit to full public provision of water and wastewater operations.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch, [email protected]