After slavery, oystering offered a lifeline. Now sewage spills threaten to end it all

After slavery, oystering offered a lifeline. Now sewage spills threaten to end it all

Black people are disproportionately suffering under the weight of a sewage crisis in Virginia, a symptom of decades of neglect by local governments

On a cold winter morning early this year, Mary Hill was helping her 101-year-old mother get ready for the day when she received a distressing email alert. Tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage were heading for her prized family oyster beds.

Yet Hill was not surprised that the wastewater pipe built in the 1940s had succumbed to corrosion. “Here we go again,” she thought grimly.

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