News : Rescue Great Bay from pollution, politics

Jun 25, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online

The Great Bay estuary is in decline. As one of the most-studied estuaries in the world, the evidence is clear — unless we take immediate action, the estuary could reach a tipping point, leading to a collapse of its ecosystem and the loss of a natural treasure at the heart of what makes the Seacoast region such a remarkable place to live, work and play.

 Unfortunately, during a time when it's politically expedient in certain D.C. circles to attack science and the agencies charged with protecting the health of our communities and natural resources, some would rather undermine the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to clean up our estuary than support real, constructive solutions. By sowing the seeds of doubt and confusion about the science of water pollution, and without the benefit of the science EPA and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services have developed over the course of several years, they are trying to scare people into thinking EPA is out to bankrupt their communities.

The June 4 Congressional hearing in Exeter, titled "EPA overreach and the impact on New Hampshire Communities," was a missed opportunity. There, Congressmen Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., conducted a hearing in which, despite a packed room, only five witnesses were permitted to testify: four representatives of the Municipal Coalition — a small group of vocal municipalities doing everything in their power to delay EPA's permitting process — and EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding.

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