Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Calvert County Gets the Bill

"Chesapeake Bay Diet" to Cost Calvert County $1.3 Billion (with a "B")
Commissioner Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. [R] used a familiar term to describe the estimated cost of adhering to a federal mandate. “This is ‘sticker shock,’ ” said Slaughenhoupt of the $1.3 billion estimate for coming into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) watershed implementation plan (WIP)...
As of 2010, Calvert County (where I live), had a population of about 90,000. That makes the total cost of the "Bay Diet" approximately $14,000 per resident (counting kids).  70% of that is to be spent by 2017 (6 years), and 100% by 2025. The article doesn't make it clear where those costs arise, but given that much of the county uses septic rather than sewer, I would imagine that a substantial fraction of that is installing sewage.  It would be worth that much to me to upgrade to sewage, but we would, of course, face a much steeper bill than that.
When asked by Commissioners’ President Susan Shaw [R] if spending $1.3 billion could guarantee cleaner bay, Brownlee said he believed big reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus loads would help. “Guarantee,” said Brownlee, shaking his head, “it’s very complex.”
Color me skeptical

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