New York City Scraps Veolia Contract

Source: Diane S. Williams, DC37, May 5, 2016

In a victory for providers and consumers of public services, city officials say a multi-million dollar contract with a private French conglomerate to manage the city’s 14 waste­water treatment plants will not be renewed. The contract with Veolia, a $27 billion company based in Paris, is set to expire in June. The contract came with a couple of one-year extension options that will not be exercised, city officials told DC 37 … DC 37 locals worked with their national union, AFSCME, and advocacy groups, such as Food and Water Watch and Corporate Accountability Inter­national, to make the case against privatization. … Public Employee Press first brought attention to the Veolia contract in New York City after the Flint, Mich., water crisis became a national story earlier this year. Other press reports on the tragedy in Flint – where residents’ complaints of contami­nated water fell on deaf ears for two years, even as serious illnesses spread through the city – revealed the state of Michigan paid Veolia $50,000 in March 2015 to test the water. The company recommended water softeners for iron corrosion but didn’t expose the deadly lead contamination because such tests were not in the scope of the contract. …