New Economic Realities Put Streams At Risk

October 13, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

It doesn’t take much searching to find examples of where impending cuts in federal and state funding are likely to reverse progress made in habitat improvement over the past couple of decades. But there are other examples of where simple economic facts — lower interest rates and higher materials costs, for example — will deplete the funds of states like Maryland, which battles a permanent problem with mining waste. The Northern Branch of the Potomac River, like many others, could return to a polluted state within a few short years, according to Elizabeth M. Piazza in the Baltimore Sun. “‘We’re not going to run out of money to build new systems,’ said Constance Lyons Loucks, chief of the acid mine drainage section in the Maryland Bureau of Mines. ‘We’re definitely running out of money to operate the systems, and costs are going up exponentially because of what’s going on in the world.'”