'Rabid dogs' at the EPA

Even New York City, run by nanny-state Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is crossing swords with Obama's EPA.

New York City's Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Caswell Holloway has sent a 15 page letter to federal EPA head Lisa Jackson criticizing the EPA for expensive mandates that "provide virtually no health benefits," and that make a mockery of President Obama's call for eliminating unnecessary regulations.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

EPA regulations are "unnecessarily driving up" the cost of water in New York City. Water rates have increased by 134% since Mr. Bloomberg took office in 2002... Between fiscal years 2002 and 2010, the city has spent, at the behest of federal mandates, nearly $15 billion on capital projects for its water and wastewater system. Roughly 1% of that was paid for by the federal government, city officials said...

...Mr. Holloway said there is no better example of the EPA's burdensome regulations than the requirement that the city spend $1.6 billion to cover a 90-acre reservoir in Yonkers. The public health benefit of this cap, he said, will "essentially be nil."

The city's Deputy Mayor for Operations, Stephen Goldsmith, who co-authored the letter to the EPA, has commented at Governing regarding the reservoir cap that:

The stated purpose is to protect Hillview water from contamination by certain pathogens, but the reservoir, which sits on top of a hill, has never been exposed to these pathogens, as thousands of test results show year after year.

Mr. Goldsmith further observes:

When the federal government forces a locality to spend billions of dollars on something that has no public health benefit, it is indirectly forcing the layoff of public employees, or higher taxes and water rates on residents struggling to prevent foreclosures.

The Journal notes that "other mayors around the country" are also up in arms at the EPA's heavy-handed regulatory agenda, and quotes the former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors describing the EPA as "rabid dogs coming after cities."

The EPA has some 17,000 employees, and an $8.7 billion budget, and a penchant for "taking action on climate change" and "working for environmental justice," according to their own web site.

Texas and Wyoming have sued the EPA over implementation of greenhouse gas rules, Oklahoma has sued the EPA over haze from aging coal plants, and Virginia and 14 other states have sued to reopen hearings on the EPA's declaration that carbon dioxide causes global warming and is therefore dangerous to human health.

Whether Obama's EPA can succeed in dragging the states, the cities and the private economy kicking and screaming over the environmental cliff remains to be seen.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, in a paper at Imprimis points to the "serious consequences of decisions made by unelected bureaucrats," and concludes "we are gradually suffocating our free market economy with command-and-control regulations from our federal government."

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