Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Protection Agency’

Cheney: Leaving No Tracks

April 24, 2008

GottlichFrom the Washington Post Leaving No Tracks by BARTON GELLMAN & JO BECKER 27 jun 2007 Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report click to read more.     Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the 19th-ranking Interior Department official, arrived at her desk in Room 6140 a few months after Inauguration Day 2001. A phone message awaited her.     “This is Dick Cheney,” said the man on her voice mail, Wooldridge recalled in an interview. “I understand you are the person handling this Klamath situation. Please call me at — hmm, I guess I don’t know my own number. I’m over at the White House.”     Wooldridge wrote off the message as a prank. It was not. Cheney had reached far down the chain of command, on so unexpected a point of vice presidential concern, because he had spotted a political threat arriving on Wooldridge’s desk.     In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.     Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.     First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.     Because of Cheney’s intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.     Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks.     The Klamath case is one of many in which the vice president took on a decisive role to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business.     By combining unwavering ideological positions — such as the priority of economic interests over protected fish — with a deep practical knowledge of the federal bureaucracy, Cheney has made an indelible mark on the administration’s approach to everything from air and water quality to the preservation of national parks and forests.     It was Cheney’s insistence on easing air pollution controls, not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she said in an interview that provides the most detailed account so far of her departure.

Bush’s 2005 Cuts Jeopardize Drinking Water Systems in New York and Cities across US

April 8, 2008

Take a look a these two articles:

US water pipelines are breaking; repair costs nearly $300 billion       Post on TimesUnion.com By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Last updated: 3:12 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, 2008     NEW YORK — Two hours north of New York City, a mile-long stream and a marsh the size of a football field have mysteriously formed along a country road. They are such a marvel that people come from miles around to drink the crystal-clear water, believing it is bubbling up from a hidden natural spring.     The truth is far less romantic: The water is coming from a cracked 70-year-old tunnel hundreds of feet below ground, scientists say.     The tunnel is leaking up to 36 million gallons a day as it carries drinking water from a reservoir to the big city. It is a powerful warning sign of a larger problem around the country: The infrastructure that delivers water to the nation’s cities is badly aging and in need of repairs.  Read more

Clean Water Fund Facing Major Cuts     Posted on New York Times by FELICITY BARRINGER Published: February 8, 2005     The discretionary budget of the Environmental Protection Agency would be cut by 5.6 percent, to $7.57 billion, under President Bush’s budget.      The greatest single cuts would be in federal payments to a joint state-federal fund that underwrites projects to improve water quality.      The fund is now worth $52 billion.     The $369 million cut in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund would leave the fund with annual federal payments of $730 million, down from $1.98 billion four years ago, said Linda Eichmiller, a spokeswoman for the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators.      “The infrastructure needs that relate to clean water are well over $200 billion,” Ms. Eichmiller said. “We have a fund that is not adequate to meet those needs. If we don’t build up the fund to take care of those needs, there are going to be problems.”     Read more

More on New York City’s Water Supply.