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Enviro Group Calls On Federal Government For Anacostia Cleanup

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DC water manager would like to see a cleaner, healthier Anacostia river, but he's worried about the cost, and its impact on rate-payers.
Sabri Ben-Achour
DC water manager would like to see a cleaner, healthier Anacostia river, but he's worried about the cost, and its impact on rate-payers.

DC Appleseed says past actions by the federal government are responsible for heavily polluting the Anacostia River. A new report from the group calls on the federal government to use the Anacostia River as test case for the governments water restoration activities.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray bemoans the current state of the river. "One of our greatest natural resources in this District of Columbia and the surrounding region has been subjected to such abuse over the years," says Gray.

Walter Smith, the director of DC Appleseed, says making the river a focal point for the city is a win-win.

"Were not just doing this because we think its an environmentally good thing to do," he says. "We want to do it because it makes economic sense.

"We believe what we recommend in this report will bring economic development, it will create jobs, it will reduce energy costs, it will boost property values," he adds.

The question now is funding, and Congress is tightening its purse strings. Budget constraints could hinder the revitalization effort, and Smith recognizes that none of these plans can be implemented over night.

"It is a long-term vision," he says.

A government spokesperson says the Obama Administration is devoted to improving the water quality of the river.

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