Bay Restoration: Expensive If You Do, Expensive If You Don't | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Bay Restoration: Expensive If You Do, Expensive If You Don't

Play associated audio

The District, Virginia, Maryland and four other states are expected to tell the Environmental Protection Agency how they plan to reduce water pollution that flows into the Chesapeake Bay today. The EPA will then set a hard limit on how much pollution can enter the Bay. But one of the persistent arguments is over cost.

If states and D.C. are going to reduce pollution as the EPA has asked them to do, a number of things are going to have to happen. Farmers are going to have to do more to keep extra fertilizer from running off their land, urban areas are going to have to control the water that runs off roofs and gutters, wastewater treatment plants will have to upgrade.

Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia's 6th District and he's heard a lot from groups worried about the EPA's plan to set a hard limit on pollution from urban and agricultural runoff.

"The concern is very intense. The Virginia Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau, have taken a very strong stand against this, home builders are very concerned this will devastate home building. I've also heard from the localities in my district," Goodlatte says.

He says the basic problem is the cost: "We could lose these communities."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered to help pay for some of the costs to farmers. But Mike Gerel, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, say the arguments over cost are forgetting half of the equation.

"No one is talking about the benefits. No one is talking about the costs of inaction," Gerel says.

He says the Bay's poor water quality has cost the crab and oyster industries billions over the years.

"Seafood, tourism, recreation, property value -- all kinds of studies show when you're living near clean water, the value of your property goes up," Gerel says.

He argues that investing in recovery is a net positive, generating economic benefits and new jobs.

In a new report, the foundation says that for every $1 spent on agricultural conservation, $1.5 dollars is generated in jobs and other economic growth.

The fight will likely heat up after the EPA announces it's final rule at the end of the year.

NPR

Book Review: 'Once In The West'

Tess Taylor reviews Christian Wiman's new collection of poems, "Once in the West."
NPR

'How To Cook Everything Fast'? Bittman Says Skip The Prep

Rachel Martin talks to food writer Mark Bittman about his new cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Fast," which thumbs its nose at the French tradition of having ingredients prepped before you cook.
WAMU 88.5

New D.C. Bill Would Require Uber To Provide Liability Insurance Coverage

D.C. Council Member Mary Cheh is proposing legislation to end the regulatory vacuum critics say has placed Uber users at risk.
NPR

EBay Spins Off PayPal Into Fast-Changing World Of Mobile Payments

Commerce and payments are splitting up. Ebay is breaking away from PayPal and its payments operation will turn into a separate, publicly traded company.

Leave a Comment

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