Friday, September 23, 2011

Counties Don't Want to Save the Bay, Either

Counties bristling at projected Bay cleanup costs
The state of Maryland’s plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay not only will cost billions of dollars, but it continues to frustrate local officials who have to implement it.

“This plan will require significant efforts at significant costs,” said Leslie Knapp, associate director for the Maryland Association of Counties [MACo]. “Our biggest concern is simply, how are we going to pay to do what needs to be done?”

As part of a federal mandate to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) determined how much counties must reduce the amount of pollution they contribute to the Bay, and local officials have to figure out how to reach those goals.
So, it seems those farmers and industrial polluters aren't the only ones not wild about paying their "fair share" of cleaning up the Bay.  But how big is the bill they're balking at?
In Anne Arundel County, the projected cost of instituting the plan was $2 billion, Knapp said.

“It’s a monumental investment,” said Matt Diehl, a spokesman for the county’s Department of Public Works. “These costs far exceed our current budget.”

The department’s overall budget is about $1 billion...Caroline County was faced with a cost estimate of $70 million, almost twice its annual budget of $40 million, according to Kathleen Freeman, director of the county’s planning and codes department.

But Freeman said while the initial cost projection was daunting enough, MDE released new targets for pollution reduction this week that could triple or quadruple the cost.
But it's your $#!*.  You should be responsible for it!

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