Thursday, August 8, 2019

Saving Face: The Hypocrisy of HB-200

Excerpt from the article in "Blue Delaware" HB-200 - Clean Water Plan:

“This is a critical first step towards addressing the crisis-level needs we see throughout Delaware,” Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend said in a statement. “From chronic flooding, to aging sewer systems, to drinking water that isn’t drinkable, Delaware desperately needs sustained investment in water infrastructure. “This bill represents initial steps down a path of true commitment to meeting our water challenges. Let’s show immediate progress, and then push for even more investment to promote our economy and the health and safety of all Delawareans.”

Senator Townsend can try, but he cannot hide from his tainted environmental record. He wouldn't champion saving the 180 acre Orphanage Property -- its forests, fields and wetlands -- for future generations to enjoy (and possibly need for allotments). At the same time, he relaxed coastal zone protections in favor of heavy industrial development. His position as "Chair" of the Clean Water Task Force is laughable at best, a bad joke for a man whose record runs contrary of what this "task force" says it wants to accomplish. According to this paper from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Urbanization increases the variety and amount of pollutants carried into streams, rivers, and lakes. The pollutants include:
  • Sediment
  • Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles
  • Pesticides and nutrients from lawns and gardens
  • Viruses, bacteria, and nutrients from pet waste and failing septic systems
  • Road salts
  • Heavy metals from roof shingles, motor vehicles, and other sources
  • Thermal pollution from dark impervious surfaces such as streets and rooftops
These pollutants can harm fish and wildlife populations, kill native vegetation, foul drinking water
supplies, and make recreational areas unsafe and unpleasant.

=> It also contributes heavily to flooding, especially in low-lying areas like the Orphanage Property, with its high water table.

Also check out this paper (pdf), from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Excerpt:

 . . . with the increase in man-made impervious surfaces, such as roads, rooftops, and parking lots, the volume of stormwater runoff has drastically increased. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that can drastically impact water quality.

By his very record, Senator Townsend has never seen a development project he didn't oppose, regardless of its impacts on water and the environment in general. Sacrificing wetlands, paving over natural permeable surfaces, and creating torrents of polluted run-off is very much on his agenda. A look at his campaign donor list -- loaded with developer interests -- tells us all we need to know.

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