You may recall that just recently this blog questioned the lack of progress by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler on Chesapeake Bay pollution in his first year in office. You may also recalled that Mr. Gansler loudly grandstanded on this issue during his 2006 campaign against Republican candidate Scott Rolle. The questions I raised recently were all the more relevant when Mr. Gansler made a prominent media event out of his trip to Iowa on behalf of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
Keep in mind that I was the only person criticizing the AG office's lack of results in a public forum. Lo and behold, the Washington Post today has something of a rebuttal, since I raised the issue. It addresses exactly the concerns I raised two weeks ago. As further evidence, the environmental groups quoted have little or no criticism of Mr. Gansler. So who did raise the questions? I did, unless someone can show me another critical statement from recent times.
Mr. Gansler claims that the reason for his inaction is that the pollution going into the Bay is legal. Of course, this is complete hogwash. There are two illegal toxic waste dumps on PEPCO property: one near the Potomac River, and one by the Patuxent River. Montgomery County and the O'Malley administration, at last report, are taking no action on those dumps.
There are 3 coal-fired electric plants in this area of the Potomac River: Dickerson (PEPCO), Alexandria (Mirant), and one at the Nice Bridge (Mirant) on the Potomac in Charles County. These plants could be doing more to reduce particulates and emissions that they are currently discharging. And don't forget the smokestacks that are firing around the clock in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Eleven nuclear reactors discharge into the watershed of the Bay.
My search of Maryland Department of the Environment records revealed an MTBE fuel spill and chemical contamination in the industrial zone adjacent to the Westbard Sector. Ours and other nearby neighborhoods were never informed of these environmental incidents. In both cases, these MTBE products and contaminants were in soil and groundwater near Willets Branch, by which they inevitably went to the Potomac River. Which flows into the Bay.
Then there is the major issue I talked about over and over again during my campaign: illegal medical waste, runoff, and toxic waste that originates in Pennsylvania and comes downstream to the Bay here in Maryland. I said in 2006 that we need to deliver an ultimatum to the state of Pennsylvania: clean up your act, or we'll take you to court. Mr. Gansler has failed to do so:
"I just don't know what he has done yet," said Ed Merrifield, executive director of the environmental group Potomac Riverkeepers. "Until he's willing to take polluters to court, it's hard for me to know what he's done for the environment."
Once again I am vindicated. I said Marilyn Goldwater would be unable to serve if reelected, and she cast no votes in 2007, leaving our district with only 2/3 of our representation in Annapolis. I said crime was going up, and reports proved that crime is up in our area. In fact, a woman was violently assaulted in Chevy Chase Village just last night. I said police need more protection against violent criminals. A year later we had the highest number of police officers killed in the line of duty in history. I said our current elected officials were driving jobs out of our district. Now Ourisman Ford is closed. Forever.
And now Robert Dyer has brought accountability to the Attorney General's office and the Democrat extremists in Annapolis, who continue to give the real polluters a free pass. This is the type of leadership we need in Annapolis: someone who is right on the issues in advance, and has real solutions for the serious issues. But in Annapolis, the serious issues are the last thing on anyone's mind right now.