Shutdown Would Hamper D.C. Environmental Work, Chesapeake Bay Cleanup | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Shutdown Would Hamper D.C. Environmental Work, Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Play associated audio
Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/290912590/
Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

In the District, the Department of the Environment (DDOE) would be reduced to a skeleton staff to respond to emergencies — but regular activities including investigations into illegal dumping and the issuance of environmental permits for construction would stop.

"We will not be doing inspections, we will not be issuing notices of infraction and violation and we will not be doing our permitting which is a fundamental part of the economic development process here in the city," says Christophe Tulou, director of DDOE.

Doug Siglin, federal affairs director at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says the current budget negotiations and possible shutdown could have an effect on the entire Chesapeake Bay region. That's because the House budget bill passed Thursday includes a rider from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would strip funding for the EPA's Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan.

If that language is included in a final budget agreement between Congressional leaders, "it would have an enormous impact, if you take that literally farmers wouldn't get any cost-share assistance from USDA," says Siglin. "Cities and towns wouldn't get assistance to upgrade sewage treatment plans — all federal funds that go to pollution reduction would be stopped for the rest of the year."

On other environmental projects, the EPA says it will continue to clean up Superfund sites where stopping would pose a public health risk and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says work would continue at Fort Detrick and Spring Valley sites because contracts there have been paid for already with existing budget funding.

NPR

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Women and minorities continue to be under-represented on TV and in film, both behind and in front of the camera, according to a new study — even though diverse films and shows make more money.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Is The Battle Won And Done For Those Who Fought For Net Neutrality?

In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

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