The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Chesapeake Bay Polluters

Nov 22, 2021

While world leaders pretended they plan to do something about climate change during the summit in Scotland, what’s happening in the real world?

Forty years ago, the Chesapeake Bay Alliance was formed to help push seven states and Washington, D.C. to change their practices and prevent pollution from flowing into the bay. In 40 years, the best the Alliance has measured is 40% of water quality goals met. Current measurements are only at 33% of water goals met.

For pollution on the ground, the Pennsylvania pipeline owned by Energy Transfer, a Texas company, has been fined 20 million dollars for spills and 120 other violations in the last four years.

In Baltimore, Maryland, the sewage system has been under a consent decree for almost 20 years. But repairs are nowhere near finished. The Maryland Department of Energy found this summer that sewage goes from two area sewage plants into the water, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. This sewage sends excessive nitrogen, phosphorus and bacteria into the water. Meanwhile sewage bills have doubled and doubled again.

Clean-ups of water, land and air pollution have been promised for 50 years in the United States—without success in stopping never-ending industrial pollution. Companies consider such fines as a normal cost of business and residents can’t catch a break on what we have to pay.