First it was fertilizer run-off in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Now regulators are turning their attention to pollution in that other great shrine of waterfowling lore and history, Chesapeake Bay.
From this story in the Washington Post:
_Federal officials began a sweeping crackdown on pollution in the Chesapeake Bay on Friday – threatening to punish five mid-Atlantic states with rules that could raise sewer bills and put new conditions on construction. The move by the Environmental Protection Agency is part of the biggest shakeup in the 27-year history of the Chesapeake cleanup. Earlier, when states failed to meet deadlines to cut pollution by 2000 and 2010, nothing happened. Now, the deadline has been moved to 2025 – but the EPA is already threatening states that lag behind. On Friday, the agency went after Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New York, which together account for more than 70 percent of the pollution that causes “dead zones” in the bay. The agency told the states their plans contained “serious deficiencies” and said it could force them to make up the difference with expensive new measures.
__It’s too early to tell how this might translate into increased property taxes or new rules for farms. But it is clear that by squeezing states – and calculating they will in turn squeeze homeowners and farmers – the administration is taking a significant political risk. In an era when environmentalism seems to be losing steam, it is betting that residents of the Chesapeake region care enough to pay the cost of saving the bay._