Posthaste Facts on the Environment #9

California's Latest Disaster: Environmentalists

Produced 1995

Disasters such as fires and floods find an ally in the environmental bureaucracy. Just ask the residents of Pajaro, California.

It's been business as usual for the "greenshirts" at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After much debate about the rights of long-toed salamanders and steelhead trout, Santa Cruz County finally set aside $300,000 for the removal of sand and gravel that was blocking the flow of the Pajaro River. Then the Corps officials, once again, stalled the clean-up to conduct an environmental review. Soon after, the heavy rains came and the flood levees broke, sending the swollen river rushing through the town and farm fields of Pajaro, California. "We've been crying about this for years," complained Ed Kelly, chairman of the California Strawberry Commission, who said that the damages would have been one tenth of the amount if the debris had been cleared. Corps officials appear unmoved by the estimated $46 million dollars in damages. They are still waiting to conduct an environmental review.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1995


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #9, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #9 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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