It may sound illogical. But in fact, clean water can increase by as much as 25 percent the value of single family homes up to three-quarters of a mile from the water’s edge, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Think about that for a moment. The implication is that hundreds of thousands of homes in the Chesapeake Bay region have their value suppressed right now by not only the recession, but also by water pollution.
So cleaning up the Bay could be an important way to pour life back into the region’s economy.
Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the other regional states faced a deadline on Monday to turn in to EPA revised plans (called “Watershed Implementation Plans” or WIPs) that will document how they will reduce their pollution to meet this new pollution diet. Maryland and New York asked for more time, saying they will get in their plans by the end of the week.
"The dog didn't exactly eat Maryland's Chesapeake Bay homework," The Baltimore Sun's Timothy Wheeler jokes in his blog this afternoon, "but he's holding onto it and won't let go just yet."
Critics of EPA’s proposed pollution “diet” for the Bay have complained that it will cost too much. But the new CBF report how expensive inaction -- and a polluted Bay -- are for the region’s economy. Bay pollution is killing jobs and hurting local businesses.
• The decline of the Chesapeake Bay oyster has cost Maryland and Virginia more than $4 billion in cumulative losses over the past 30 years. Overharvesting and disease have played major roles in the drop, along with water pollution.
• A single fish kill in the Shenandoah River watershed in 2005 -– likely caused in part by poor water quality –- resulted in roughly $700,000 in losses in retail sales and revenues.
• A 2000 study found that improvements in water quality along Maryland’s western shore to levels that meet state bacteria standards could raise property values by 6 percent.
For more details, read the whole report by clicking here.
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation