Bay Journal Opinion Piece Argues Bay TMDL Costs Overstated

A forum piece in the May 2012 issue of the Bay Journal challenges the concern raised by the agricultural community and others regarding the high implementation costs of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  The forum piece is written by Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration Kim Coble, who argues that high TMDL cost estimates may be overstated, do not take into account available federal and state aid, and will be offset by economic and health benefits.  MACo has consistently voiced concern over the high TMDL cost estimates for Maryland counties.

As the ink is not dry on the states’ [Phase II Watershed Implementation] plans, it would be impossible for the EPA or anyone else to know the true costs to the states, to farmers, to anyone at this point in time.  …

There is “extensive literature” demonstrating that the costs of environmental regulations “are more than offset by a broad range of economic, public health and jobs-related benefits.” For example, the [World Research Institute] noted that the estimated aggregate cost of the EPA’s clean air and water regulations between 1999 and 2009 ranged from $26 billion to $29 billion while the benefits over the same period ranged from $82 billion to $533 billion.  …

And finally, again this year, Virginia and Maryland have stepped up to the plate, despite difficult economic times and worthy competing needs, to invest in environmental restoration programs.

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