Tuesday, September 11, 2012

EPA Hides the Carrot, Shows the Stick

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is withholding $1.2 million in grant money from Virginia because the state is not doing enough to combat a key pollutant as part of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup.

It is one of the first times the EPA has withheld federal money from a state involved in the Bay initiative and comes just months after Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration announced that it was making great strides in helping the Bay.

Virginia was supposed to receive more than $2.4 million this year in federal aid to help implement a more aggressive approach toward restoring the Bay as pushed by President Barack Obama.

But citing a lack of progress in addressing federal concerns over how the state intends to curb stormwater pollution from city streets, parking lots and urban storm drains, the EPA is shelving half the money. Virginia can apply for the rest if improvements are made.
The concept of a federal agency withholding federal money from one of the states where that money was taken from seems a bit off to me, although it's been the way of the world since the seat belt wars back when I was a kid.  States don't have have a lot of immediate recourse.  However, if enough states under the money ban got together their representatives in Congress could threaten to defund the EPA, or at least that part of it.  That would get their attention.  What's sauce for the goose and all...

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