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the epa's misguided stance on south coast rail shows its outdated priorities - air and water swamp cooler

by:HICOOL     2019-07-30
the epa\'s misguided stance on south coast rail shows its outdated priorities  -  air and water swamp cooler
John Brad and Stephen C.
Smith extended the MBTA commuter rail to the New Bedford and Fall rivers, bringing many environmental benefits from reduced expansion to reduced vehicle emissions. Yet the $1.
The 4 billion South Coast Railway scheme, which is in the pipeline for 20 years, now faces opposition from an unlikely source: EPA, which reserves the right to block the whole project in a letter to state officials last month.
EPA's letter-
Out of concern for the potential impact of the train on Easton hocomoke Marsh and renam pine Marsh
This is a wrong move that shows a deep disconnect between epa's mindset and modern environmental priorities.
In short, EPA was trapped in its 70 s.
The agency is evaluating the South Coast plan based on an outdated, overly strict approach that does not take into account the overriding challenges of climate change.
The government's position is a product of its history.
In their 70 s, federal legislation authorized the newly created environmental protection agency to control the pollution caused by pipes, chimneys and rogue trucks.
The result is immediate and dramatic.
We can swim in our rivers and ports without illness.
Haze weather in major metropolitan areas has decreased significantly.
We stopped filling the wetland to a large extent.
Unfortunately, the more we know about our environment, the more bad news we find.
We have identified devastating trends in climate change and the role of our policies in promoting the spread and making our cities unsustainable.
Plans such as the South Coast Railway help solve these bigger problems.
However, federal and state regulators still carry tools tailored to threats decades ago.
Clean air and clean water laws, enacted in 1970, remain critical to addressing climate change and continued nitrogen pollution, but they also allow regulators to adopt very narrow and short-sighted views on environmental issues.
Regional Administrator of environmental protection bureau
Curtis spuddin, who wrote the letter, raised concerns about the swamp, is a smart and determined environmental activist.
While paying attention to the swamp, he is doing his work as required by law.
But he did not protect the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency is worrying about the impact of electric trains through wetlands on the elevated right Road from 1842 to 1958.
It is worrying that the canopy of existing trees on the right side is expanded, as well as the potential impact of more sunlight on swamps.
This raises concerns about the impact of vibration on the nearby vernal swimming pool and additional noise in a quiet environment.
The Clean Water Act of 1977 directed the agency to do so, but the agency was not flexible in applying the law without taking into account the wider needs of global environmental solutions.
In other words, it lacks the canopy of the forest.
In taking its position, EPA also ignores the fact that climate change is a bigger long-term fact --
The threat to the hocomoke swamp is more serious than the MBTA train.
This also reflects a more systematic flaw in the way environmental law applies.
Federal environmental reviews are often based on the assumption that they measure the impact of the proposed project based on a certain state of happiness, pollution free.
But this is not the case.
The current situation is that the temperature is rising, the population is increasing, and the mileage of vehicles is increasing.
In this case, doing nothing will not protect the environment;
Inaction is an ecological threat.
In any case, the South Coast Railway is a big advantage for the environment.
The company expects to bring 2,950 new passengers to the system every day, eliminating thousands of vehicle trips that discharge large amounts of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
It will help curb the spread by creating new means of transport --
Targeted development around its 11 sites.
The process of restoring tracks for regular use will provide an opportunity to correct past environmental damage by improving the water environment of the swamp.
This is the big picture-
This is the issue that the EPA should pay attention.
John Brad is the former mayor of New Bedford, head of the first sustainability office in the Clinton administration, and chairman of the South East Commuter Rail Task Force in Massachusetts. Stephen C.
Smith is the executive director of Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development Zone (SRPEDD).
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