Environmental Groups Accuse Fenty Administration Of Stifling Anacostia Rehab | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Environmental Groups Accuse Fenty Administration Of Stifling Anacostia Rehab

Play associated audio
Three of the Anacostia River's "toxic hot spots" are getting federal funding to lead clean-up efforts.
http://www.flickr.com/jenniferboyer
Three of the Anacostia River's "toxic hot spots" are getting federal funding to lead clean-up efforts.

By Patrick Madden

Some environmental groups are accusing the Fenty Administration of holding back the clean-up effort on the Anacostia river.

The environmentalists call them 'toxic hot spots:' six sites along the Anacostia river that are so contaminated, so full of toxins and pollutants that in one spot, for example, two-thirds of the catfish have cancerous lesions.

Three of these sites have been designated 'Superfund' sites, that means federal government has been tapped to lead the clean-up effort.

But the other three haven't, and Brent Bolin with the Anacostia Watershed Society, says the mayor's office has not designated the spots because of pressure from developers.

"Several of the sites are really ripe for redevelopment and so there is a question of whether these sites will be stigmatized by a Superfund listing," says Bolin.

And the Superfund label, Bolin says, would send the value of the project plummeting.

But Christof Tulou, acting director of the District's Department of the Environment, says its sometimes easier and quicker to handle the clean-up effort directly.

"We feel that in direct negotiations with the responsible parties, the district government can get to the nitty gritty and get these things done quicker," says Tulou.

Tulou says a Superfund listing can be a long, drawn out process with a lot of red tape.

But Tulou doesn't entirely disagree with the environmentalists. He says the 'Superfund' label stifles redevelopment, and it's something his department takes into consideration when deciding which toxic spots make the list.

NPR

'The Bishop's Wife' Tracks A Killer In A Mormon Community

The mystery about the disappearance of a young Mormon woman was inspired by a real-life story. Author Mette Ivie Harrison talks about her own struggles with faith and stereotypes of Mormon mothers.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Pyongyang Blames U.S. Amid Reports Of New Internet Outages

Pyongyang has accused President Obama of "reckless words and deeds" and said the U.S. is "playing hide and seek as children with runny noses would."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.