Since the attempts of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) to protect
his big agriculture & tobacco donors the Chesapeake Bay were flunked, I’m glad to see President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency stepping in to provide a real plan:
Shawn M. Garvin, the agency’s regional administrator for the mid-Atlantic, described the plan as “the largest water pollution strategy plan in the nation” and possibly “number one or number two” in the world. He noted that it will affect “basically every drop of water that gets to the bay” from as far north as Upstate New York.
The legally enforceable road map, which runs roughly 200 pages along with 800 pages of appendices, will help determine everything from how pig farms in West Virginia will dispose of waste to the way Pennsylvania copes with stormwater runoff. Environmentalists hailed it as the most promising plan the United States has ever adopted to revive an estuary plagued by low oxygen and struggling fish and oyster populations, while some critics warned it could be costly and hard to execute.
It’s saving the Bay that could be costly? Damaging the Bay has cost the economies of Virginia, Maryland & DC more than $4 billion over the last 30 years. Hopefully the EPA’s plan is the first step towards real leadership on restoration – something that’s been lacking in a generation worth of elected officials from both political parties.