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Is the EPA shooting itself in the foot?

Trying to impose new accountability measures in the failing effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the Obama administration is considering an odd-sounding threat.

Stop missing deadlines for cleaning up polluted waterways, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would tell states in the bay watershed.

Or we'll . . . cut off funding for cleaning up polluted waterways.

That idea, announced Monday in a new "draft strategy" for the Chesapeake, might sound as if the EPA is threatening to shoot itself in the foot.

By Jodi Westrick  |  November 10, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This plan simply makes the states accountable to the local voters for losing the Federal money (or not). That will be an improvement over NO accountability. Right now, Virginia blames Maryland chicken poop, Maryland blames Delaware's chemical plants, and Delaware blames Virginia's paved roads and the run-off (more pavement in Tyson's than in Boston or Pheonix). Meanwhile no one state or official is willing to lose campaign contributions from polluters to do the right thing. Maybe the EPA should still make the money available but ORDER the states on how to spend it if states won't fix the Bay.

Posted by: achamblee | November 10, 2009 8:18 PM

What we need to do is punish the failing states by taking away the funding that encourages pollution-- agricultural and transportation subsidies. That's when you'll see a turn-around.

In the words of HL Mencken the Chesapeake was once "an immense protein factory." Now it's an immense chicken poop factory, and the proud watermen who once embodied our region are now racing to the bottom of the Bay-rel to get the last crab and oyster.

I don't know a sadder fact than if you order a "Maryland crabcake" from Phillip's Seafood today, the crab comes from Thailand. Who would've thunk we would be outsourcing our seafood here?

Posted by: hyperbanana | November 10, 2009 11:26 PM

Actually that money from the Federal Government is a crutch for non-action by all of the states on the Bay. I say remove it and let the state legislatures tell their respective constituents why there are no local crabs or why there is garbage in recreational areas or even having the bay closed due to bacterial blooms.

In June of 1969,the Cuyahoga River, flowing through Cleveland, Ohio, on its way to Lake Erie, caught on fire because it was so polluted.

Will it take something like that to get our collective attention. This Bay is a gift for man to use, but use in a responsible manner. Will it get back to the quality before Europeans landed -no it won't. But geez, if people want to remember that days when crabs and oysters were plentiful -keep ignoring the garbage we dump in our water.

We can't drink money....

We can't eat money.....

We can't breath money....

but it seems that's all we gripe about..

and nothing else....

Posted by: andio76 | November 11, 2009 2:19 AM

mmm mmm mmm barack hussein obama

community organizing at it's best

Do muslims eat seafood?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 11, 2009 3:09 AM

I voted no by mistake... I think the plan will work. There needs to be solutions, even if they are not easy ones. People can't keep profiting at the expense of everyone else by dumping crap in to the waterways, sorry that has to stop now. We don't need to study what we know are problems, we need to change what we can now, and change more as we learn more.

Posted by: Nymous | November 11, 2009 4:45 AM

What happens if the EPA gives the money directly to people who are doing things to clean up? Would that work better? Is there some other thing we can do to fix the problem than what we have been doing?

The 'enough with the studies' part of this is a clearly correct conclusion to draw from the many studies that have been done.

Posted by: Nymous | November 11, 2009 4:48 AM

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