State's hypocrisy pollutes efforts at air cleanup Gov...


July 02, 2000

State's hypocrisy pollutes efforts at air cleanup

Gov. Parris Glendening recently imposed a "stinging rebuke" on Carroll County for, among other things, its air pollution.

Mike Lane drove the rebuke home the next day (June 14) in an editorial cartoon in The Sun showing a cow with a gas mask.

There is a distressing irony to this skewering of which irony Mr. Lane is probably ignorant but which Governor Glendening knows well.

Baltimore metropolitan area has long suffered from air pollution and has been in specific violation of the federal Clean Air Act since 1975. Baltimore has managed to duck compliance over the years until in 1990 Congress imposed a deadline of the year 2005 with compliance to be measured by regulatory standards.

The standards are complex but basically require the objective measurement of the amount of existing pollution, the adoption of policies to bring that pollution down to the required level, and the objective measurement of future government-funded activities to assure that those activities do not cause the specified level to be exceeded in the future.

Governor Glendening's Department of Environment is charged with the duty to achieve compliance with the Clean Air Act, a task which MDE has miserably failed to perform.

The first game played by MDE was the attempt to fudge the measurements by using outdated numbers to calculate contributions to the existing pollution. When this trick was discovered various public interest groups challenged MDE and forced it to use updated numbers and establish a real measure of existing pollution that, of course, demonstrated noncompliance.

With the reality of this noncompliance, Governor Glendening's administration was faced with the unwelcome necessity of doing something real to cure the problem, a necessity the governor has chosen not to meet.

Rather, MDE has embarked on an endeavor to "cook the books" by playing with the numbers to avoid facing the fact Baltimore has excess pollution and that Governor Glendening's planned government activities will exacerbate the situation.

This game has resulted in an appeal being filed in federal court to force MDE to follow the law but more importantly, to reduce actual pollution.

Whether Carroll County is good environmentally or not is not here argued. It should be noted Carroll County is in the forefront of land preservation including using its own taxpayers' money to purchase easements for open space and agriculture.

Governor Glendening should remember that when he points at somebody, three of his fingers are pointing back at him. Mr. Lane may want to use his obvious talents to illuminate hypocrisy at the state level.

Donna M. Inches, Baltimore

Breslin candidacy offers new opportunity

Another school year has ended and the election for the Carroll County school board will be upon us shortly.

This election gives the citizens of Carroll County the opportunity to cast a vote for two new Board of Education members. This election also gives us the perfect opportunity to vote for a candidate who is unbiased and bipartisan. The only candidate who fits that criterion is Lisa Breslin.

Lisa Breslin is the only candidate who will be fair and equitable to all schools and districts in the county. She is the only candidate who will represent everyone.

School board members who are supported and elected by a concentrated interest group within the county do not have the compassion or vision to do what is best for our entire county.

Lisa Breslin will make decisions that are based upon what your school district needs, not where you live. Her judgement would never be clouded by a personal agenda or any special interests.

We need a candidate who is open minded and fair. We need a candidate who is knowledgeable about issues affecting all of us. A vote for Lisa Breslin means that all districts, all schools, all children and all families in our county will be represented by her on the school board.

Karla Moore, Westminster

Temporary bandages for Social Security

It's amazing how much you can spoon-feed the populace the same old line. Wasn't the Social Security system "fixed" back when they raised the retirement age past 65?

When will we wake up and realize that the politicians aren't fixing anything, but are merely applying temporary bandages to this so that it passes as a reliable and stable retirement system.

Now, both presidential candidates, George W. Bush and Al Gore, propose yet another fix to the Social Security program in the guise of an enhancement. We would be allowed the "opportunity" to bolster our government-maintained Social Security retirement funds through investments in the private sector.

Instead of stepping up to the plate and admitting that there is a slim to nil chance of ever receiving a dime of the money that has been already taken from us, the politicians are proposing a second government-mandated, private-sector enhanced retirement fund.

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