July 28, 2010 |
After months of trying to impose tough new rules for how towns should manage their storm water, Pennsylvania regulators on Tuesday backed off and granted municipalities a nine-month extension for measures some had termed "draconian. " Towns were to have submitted plans by Sept. 10 detailing how they would comply with new rules to handle the gushers of rain that often flow through culverts directly into streams, carrying with them road oil, fertilizer, trash, and other pollutants.
March 4, 2010
MANY Americans are too young to remember the days when an American river really did catch on fire, when many waterways were like open sewers and lakes nearly died from pollution. They are too young to remember the dirty days before the 1972 Clean Water Act, signed by that radical environmentalist Richard M. Nixon, led the government to begin the massive task of protecting all "waters of the United States. " The Clean Water Act is a prime example of how prudent government regulation can make a huge difference in the health of the nation's environment and its people.
April 2, 2009 |
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday that industry praised but that environmental advocates said may lead to the continued "slaughter" of fish in the Delaware River, who die when sucked into cooling water intakes. The court ruled that the government may factor in cost - not solely benefit - when deciding whether power plants should install new technologies to protect fish. Widener University environmental law professor Jim May said the ruling could apply to all industrial facilities.
September 29, 2007
Cut traffic with tolls Re: Your editorial "Part of gridlock nation," Sept. 22: After giving readers a few good examples of how to ease congestion, you assert that this transportation woe "isn't going away. " May I suggest a solution? Let's allow the market to work its magic. Let users pay for the highways with tolls. End the government monopoly on ground transportation, which allows highway-choking trucks to take advantage of taxpayer money. Freight and passengers will move much more efficiently by a rail system that no longer has to compete with free roads.
June 25, 2006
In passing the Clean Water Act in 1972, Congress set a goal of making all American lakes and streams "fishable and swimmable" within a dozen years. Thirty-four years later, America is still chasing that dream. As demonstrated lamentably in Philadelphia during the last two weeks with Wissahickon Creek, industrial pollution and untreated sewage discharges still plague streams, killing fish and endangering human health and drinking water. Nationally, more than 3,700 major facilities - 62 percent - polluted more than their Clean Water Act permit allowed at least once in 2003 and 2004, according to a March report by PennEnvironment.
February 21, 2006
It's become so common, Americans sometimes seem blase when they hear about development plans that might threaten the environment. But court arguments to be made today that could impact every swamp, bog and canal in the nation deserve close attention. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two Michigan cases involving attempts to fill in wetlands to build a shopping center and condominiums. The stakes of the cases are enormous. The justices will clarify the 1972 Clean Water Act. Historically, the United States has undervalued the ability of wetlands to filter pollutants, absorb floodwater, cleanse drinking water, shelter birds and wildlife, and provide recreation.
September 30, 2005
It made sense to bypass some environmental rules immediately after Hurricane Katrina. The first priority was to protect people, then begin the cleanup. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignored clean-water rules to pump floodwaters into Lake Pontchartrain, loosened clean-air regulations to burn debris, and lifted fuel-blending requirements to help ease gas prices. Those were the right decisions, made temporarily, on a case-by-case basis. In an emergency, EPA can and does bend rules.
April 22, 2004 |
With the arrival of Earth Day, there will be the usual flurry of feel-good stories. While they should not be ignored, Earth Day at this juncture in our history should be more of a reminder than celebration. That is clear from a set of statistics derived from government sources by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental public interest group. According to Environmental Protection Agency documentation, the nation's water pollution levels are increasing for the first time since passage of the 1970 Clean Water Act. Our estuaries have deteriorated, with more than half "impaired" - up from 37 percent in 1994.