May 17, 2010 by Post Team
Anacostia River:The “historic” cleaning solution that Bay Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced earlier this week with the Environmental Protection Agency covers much ground. It commits the federal government to address a multitude of ills scale estuarine waters, including urban, suburban and agricultural runoff and the effects of vehicle exhaust and power plants. The agreement also requires the EPA to deal with chemical pollutants in the Bay watershed of 64,000 square miles, something that the feds have not exactly been wanting to do with age.
The 27-page agreement adds that in the fight against toxic pollution, the government “to maintain a particular focus” on the banks of the Elizabeth River in Hampton Roads, and the Anacostia River in the Washington area. They were identified as long ago “Regions of concern” in the Chesapeake Bay, because decades of shipbuilding, manufacturing and other industrial activities have left hazardous metals and other chemicals in the background, posing risks to fish health , wildlife and even people.
But for some reason, the agreement does not mention the third region in question, “widely recognized in the bay – the lower Patapsco River, also known as Port of Baltimore. The bottom sediment is also surrounded with long gone polluting factories and shipyards.
And the base holds the bay remains toxic pollution into the waters surrounding Sparrows Point – is threatening to sue Severstal, the owner of the steel mill. FSC senior scientist dredging some foul-smelling black mud of waters near the plant (seen to the right, at the bottom) to show reporters.
“We have not changed our areas of concern,” said J. Charles Fox, EPA’s principal adviser on the bay, and the Anacostia River, this week when asked. He said the language of toxic pollution solution was prepared by the Bay Foundation.
Jon Mueller, vice president of environmental group for litigation, could not explain why Baltimore did not mention. EPA noted that initially did not want to reach an agreement to do something about the toxic contamination at all, that almost sunk the settlement talks.
“Certainly it is our radar screen, and I doubt that it is not the EPA,” said Mueller.
Hopefully not. Anacostia and Elizabeth rivers have been both get a good deal of government attention lately, with the development of an ambitious restoration plan for the river basins of the DC area and the dredging of toxic substances “pasta” in Hampton Roads . None of this seems to be happening around here – that could be why Baltimore managed to overlook this week?
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