Pilot Editorial: the health of the bay


9 thoughts on “Pilot Editorial: the health of the bay

  1. Perhaps unintentionally, the Pilot points out what is wrong with the EPA.

    This is what the EPA was created for, problems that span state borders. If you note where the ‘dead zones’ in the bay are, it is not in the lower half where Virginia’s rivers enter the bay, it is the upper third where the Susquehanna dominates the bay. Pennsylvania is not in compliance with the cleanup plan, It never has been and really isn’t making much of an effort to change that. It has no direct interest in the bay so it has no incentive to contain the external costs of its pollution.

    The EPA exists to deal with cross border pollution, but it has been so consumed with mission creep, trying to expand its control of private property and control the climate through the 1% of the atmosphere’s CO2 that comes from human activity in the US that is true function is largely ignored.

    The EPA needs to refocus on its core mission, dealing with those problems that cross state lines.


    1. RE: “The EPA exists to deal with cross border pollution…”

      I take the point and appreciate the arguments which support it. It seems to make logical sense, for example, to invest regulatory authority in an agency that collects and concentrates expertise in the arena where it operates.

      In an ideal world, though, I would prefer the EPA to be reduced to a purely scientific and science-advisory role. Equipped with good science, the states can devise and enforce their own regulations. They would do so closer to the people who must live with them. Let the judiciary, which is naturally and better suited to the purpose, handle the resolution of private and interstate disputes that come up.

      Regulatory bureaucracy is a cancer on our institutions of self-governance. You can rationalize the cancer in all sorts of clever ways, but in practice it is still deadly. By taking dispute resolution out of the judiciary where procedures exist to preserve civil rights, the effect is to divide and weaken the public’s control over government.


  2. It is the private property along the Susquehanna that seems to cause a lot of the problem. I think the EPA can deal with multiple issues in addition to CO2. Unless of course it is stripped of its regulatory powers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed the pollution partly comes from private property, but a lot also comes from municipal sewerage systems.

      In both cases, the EPA must act through State government. The EPA’s job is to compel the State of PA to do its job, if necessary, by taking the State to court under the clean water act.


      1. “You mean what’s left of the Clean Water Act??”

        The Clean Water Act remains in full force.

        All President Trump did was to largely remove President Obama’s edict extending the “Waters of the United States” far beyond its statutory meaning.

        Prior to the WOTUS extension, the EPA and Corps of Engineers had direct jurisdiction over navigable waters(anything you could reach by a laden canoe) and indirect control over smaller waterways that drained into them, in that if pollution reached the navigable waterway through them you could be fined.

        The WOTUS extension gave direct jurisdiction over dry creeks and ditches that carried water when it rained and even puddles that were not connected to the waterways at all. Though it was never in full force, WOTUS would have required you to get a permit to put a dock on a private pond or even a culvert for a driveway over the ditch in front of your house, and would have allowed a busybody to challenge your permit.

        It was really just a way for the government to harass private property owners and employ a lot of lawyers.

        Nothing really useful in the Clean Water Act has been touched.


          1. Of course not, I never read links I reference. If I had, I’d guess you took something different away from it than I did. Like; it demonstrates how industry (farming is BIG business) will roll back everything that gets in the way of profit. You may be surprised to learn that there are people who think the 2015 restrictions were a good thing.


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