DATE: October 11, 2002
BACKGROUND: Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) and Senator
George Allen (R-VA) have introduced legislation to require the
Environmental Protection Agency to restrict the Army Corps of
Engineers from dumping millions of gallons of toxic sludge into
the Potomac River, home to the endangered short-nose sturgeon.
The sludge, a thick tar-like substance containing hazardous chemicals
and having the odor of human waste, is pumped into the river from
the Washington Aqueduct by the Army Corps of Engineers in amounts
exceeding 200,000 pounds annually. The bills, H.R. 5554 and S.
3049, would require the EPA to restrict Corps from dumping the
sludge, which the EPA has refused to do.
The alternative to dumping the
sludge in the river would be to truck it to a treatment facility
through Washington's upscale Georgetown and Palisades neighborhoods,
home to numerous influential Washingtonians and lawmakers.
TEN SECOND RESPONSE: If the Endangered Species Act is important
enough to be enforced in the West, it is important enough to be
enforced in the East.
THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: In rural America, particularly
in the West, the Endangered Species Act has been abused by overzealous
regulators, agents and environmentalists to shut down business,
curtail ranching and farming and other activities, often costing
hard-working citizens their livelihoods. However, enforcement
is not universally applied, and this inequity undermines support
for needed reforms. What's good for the West should be good for
the East. It is time the Endangered Species Act was amended to
curtail abuses and it is time for it to be applied equally to
DISCUSSION: Americans are routinely victimized
by misuse of the Endangered Species Act and others that generate
uncontrolled regulation and enforcement. You can read many of
their stories online in our 1998 and 2000 editions of our National
Directory of Environmental and Regulatory Victims at: http://www.nationalcenter.org/VictimDirectory98.html
The 2002 edition will be available soon.
The National Wilderness Institute
has done extensive investigation of the Army Corps' sludge dumping,
including very graphic videotape footage. They have also filed
a lawsuit to stop the dumping. You can visit their web site at
by Tom Randall, Director
John P. McGovern, MD Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Contact the author at: (773)
857-5086 or [email protected]
The National Center for Public Policy Research, Chicago office
3712 North Broadway - PMB 279
Chicago, IL 60613