Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Prince George's County could cost roughly $800 million over the next decade -- possibly triggering new fees for already cash-strapped residents and businesses.Call it a cool billion dollars after acknowledging Cheops' Law. That's for a county of about 900,000 people or about $1000 per resident, or a $100 per year per resident. That's not a huge amount of money, but it's not trivial either. Try getting someone to give you a C-note every year on the promise that at the end of ten years.... What? Now try that almost a million times.. And that's only one county in the Bay watershed, and one that actually has water frontage on the Bay. What about the farmer in New York or Pennsylvania who rarely or never visits or uses the Bay.
Local and state environmental officials are drafting proposals to implement the Environmental Protection Agency's plans for reducing pollution into the Bay, a "pollution diet" designed to restore the once vibrant Bay over the next 15 years.
I'm not saying we shouldn't spend the money, but we should be careful to spend it to the best effect.