Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Proposed Crofton Wal-Mart Gets Wet Reception

Today's Capital covers the ongoing drama of the Crofton Wal-Mart , a project threatening wetlands and the 100-year flood plain connected to the Little Patuxent River. The opposition to the project, lead by members of Crofton First, testified at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) hearing that, among other things, encroaching several acres onto the 100-year flood plan, which the project proposes to do, could lead to serious flooding of Route 3 south of the project.

It remains to be seen whether MDE will uphold its mission "to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, economic development, healthy and safe communities, and quality environmental education for the benefit of the environment, public health, and future generations," or whether it will cave in to another wealthy developer and allow the public to bear the weight of its ineffectual decision making.

Patuxent Riverkeeper, Fred Tutman, put it best, "[The public] subsidize[s] bad environmental practices [because erosion control, flooding and cleanups eventually cost the taxpayer]. There is nothing smart about a project that threatens the Chesapeake Bay and a local waterway."

No, there isn't. And, frankly, there isn't anything smart about paying bureaucrats who are charged with protecting public resources a salary for negotiating away our natural heritage. It would be encouraging if the change in administrations at the County and State level could put an end to that practice.

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