February 4, 2011

Can the Chesapeake be too clean?

Not if you read what the James River Association says on its website:
The goals for pollution reduction are attainable. No one is trying to eliminate all pollution from our rivers. Scientists, business leaders, and government officials can all agree that some pollution is an inevitable side-effect of economic activity, and that we need to have a healthy economy alongside a healthy environment. That’s why the new goals for reducing pollution in the James River allow for 23 million lbs. of nitrogen, 2.37 million lbs. of phosphorous, and 920.23 million lbs. of sediment pollution each year. Before you let anyone tell you that the James River will be getting “too clean,” reflect on these numbers. Imagine 130 large dump trucks lined up at a boat ramp (that’s a line about 9 football fields long) on the James River every day, dumping a payload of these pollutants straight into the river. That’s how much pollution is allowed under the new EPA goals. That’s how much pollution we can reasonably expect this river to take and still be healthy enough for wildlife and humans to use and enjoy.
That's a great visual, isn't it? So please stop your bellyaching, industry and farm lobby! Get onboard the EPA's efforts to clean up our waters.