Water, Earth, Sky

Scott Shenk writes about the environment.

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Jobs and the Bay cleanup not mutually exclusive, CBF says

As federal and state efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay move forward, one big concern has been: How will it affect jobs in the watershed, considering that the program will tighten controls on polluters and cost billions of dollars?

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation reports today that the regulations would actually stimulate job growth while cleaning up the nation’s largest estuary.

The foundation says  in a press release that “while it is too early to be specific about the number of jobs that will be created by the Bay pollution limits, between 1990 and 2009, the number of environmental clean-up and monitoring jobs increased by 43 percent across the region.

It says a projection by the Economic Policy Institute found that stormwater projects could provide work for 178,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the region over the next five years. Maryland and Virginia plan to invest a total of $3 billion to upgrade sewage treatment plants over more than a decade, creating an estimated 60,000 construction related jobs.

“If history is any guide, regulations that reduce pollution will create jobs, strengthen local economies, and restore the health of our national treasure,” CBF President William C. Baker said.

“A clean environment and a vibrant economy are two sides of the same coin. One supports the other. We will have more fish, crabs, and oysters, and fewer health impacts from dirty water.”

Read the full report here.