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Clean air standards costly to implement

James Alston, who grew up in Westport, is infuriated over the state of his community’s air, calling it “environmental racism.” (Baltimore Sun video)

As usual, the Baltimore City Council passed a “clean air act,” a very noble act indeed, with no idea as to the fiscal consequences it will cause the city or the residents in the near future (“Baltimore City Council gives preliminary OK to tighter air standards for Wheelabrator trash incinerator,” Feb. 4). While it sounds good, it appears that the council in their usual fly by night approach failed to obviously study the problem and possible remedies to solve the problems.

It appears to me there are two basic problems which are causing the council to jump through their south end as is usual for them in the political environment in which they operate. Have they actually looked at whether the emissions are in concert with the EPA requirements as established? Do they know how much of the pollutants are allowed to be safely released, or are they just listening to the environmental lobbyist scream “the sky is falling, the sky is falling?” The second problem is that there is no planning cycle here which lists the steps to take to replace the current facilities, if need be, and the actual costs per year to accomplish the plan. Have they actually studied the alternatives and the time and cost involved? As I have stated earlier in many letters dealing with Baltimore, talk is cheap and easy, but finding the funds to carry it out is a different story.

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I must commend council members Eric Costello and Leon Pinkett for realizing the council has no idea about the cost to accomplish the requirements of the clean air act. I assume the rest of the council will leave that for future council members to worry about. I must also commend City Council President Bernard C “Jack” Young for his totally incredible taking charge leadership by hollering “Woah, woah, woah, let’s back up for a minute, and let’s hug and don’t shoot!” Truly an inspirational act of leadership. Oh, to have been there to witness that as a true moment in history of the City Council. Obviously, he also has no clue as to the fiscal consequences.

Yes, Mr. Young, back it up and do the homework required before passing an irresponsible bill that cannot be carried out without the budget to do so. The City Council needs to get their act together.

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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