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An Environmental Agenda for the District of Columbia 1999




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


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Endorsed by:

Anacostia Watershed Society
Clean Water Action
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Committee of 100
Environmental Defense Fund
Friends of the Earth
Green Party of D.C.
Institute for Local Self Reliance
Scenic America
Sierra Club, New Columbia Chapter

Sustainable Community Initiatives, D.C.
Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Washington Regional Network

For more information please contact.
Anna El-Eini, Coordinator
DC Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth
1025 Vermont Avenue, 3rd Floor
Washington D.C. 20005-6303
Phone: (202) 783-7400, Fax: (202) 783-0444
Email: eleini@foe.org

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Expand Recycling
Improve Trash Collection and Management
Restore Household Hazardous Waste Collections
Encourage "Deconstruction" before Demolition
Implement Integrated Pest Management


Modernize Our Drinking Water System to Reduce Health Threats
Protect the Source of Our Drinking Water
Reduce Our Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water
Manage Stormwater Discharges to Reduce Pollution
Restore the Anacostia River
Help Get the Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up Back on Schedule
Set Maximum Pollution Loads that Protect Our Waterways
Complement Infrastructure Needs with Water Conservation Measures
Protect and Restore Urban Riverfronts


Adopt a General Policy on Parkland Conservation
Restore Washington's Street Trees — Our Urban Forest
Reject the Oxon Cove Prison Proposal
Protect Kingman and Heritage Islands
Speak Out on the General Management Plan for Rock Creek Park
Complete the Georgetown Waterfront Park


Plan for Clean Transportation
Promote Clean Transportation
Restore MetroBus Service
Phase Out Diesel Buses
Improve Energy Efficiency and Promote Renewable Energy
Join the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign


Redevelop Brownfields
Mixed-Use and Transit-Oriented Development
Split the Property Tax Rate
Encourage Location-Efficient Mortgages
Remove Illegal Billboards and Enforce the Sign Code
Enforce the Sign Code
Remove Graffiti
Rebuild Federal Employment in the Nation's Capital
Fully Investigate the New Convention Center


Implement the District of Columbia Environmental Policy Act
Launch the Green Government Initiative
Raise Money and Pride for D.C.'s Anacostia River: Offer an Environmental License Plate and an Income Tax Check-Off
Establish an Environmental Agency for the District of Columbia


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Executive Summary

The year 1999 is marked by a sense of optimism about the direction of the District of Columbia. The city's financial status is improved, government systems are being made more efficient, services like recycling are back on the street, and people are moving to D.C. in larger numbers.

A new Mayor and Council have the opportunity to reverse some of the negative trends of years past and to work toward a more livable city for all residents. High on the list of livability concerns is protection of the environment. In the District's urban setting, environmental protection means healthy air and water, clean streets, toxic-free homes and workplaces, and good development practices. It means tree-lined streets, attractive open spaces where children are safe to play, and habitat for wildlife like the American Bald Eagle. It also means sensitivity to environmental justice, so that no community is disproportionately burdened by pollution.

A healthy environment in the District attracts people and investments that translate into a healthy economy. It also contributes to a healthy region as more people choose to live in D.C. rather than choosing sprawl development in the surrounding countryside.

The D.C. Environmental Agenda 99 is a collaborative effort of citizen activists to chart a course for environmental protection. It makes recommendations for action and draws upon the collective wisdom of many District environmental leaders as well as successful initiatives in other parts of the country.

A sampling of actions recommended in the report includes:

Trash, Toxics and Recycling

  • Bring recycling to D.C. public schools and government offices
  • Promote and enforce D.C.'s commercial-sector recycling law
  • Implement and enforce new trash transfer legislation
  • Operate a drop-off site for hazardous household waste
  • Enact legislation to increase taxes on pesticide application to discourage pesticide use

Safe Drinking Water and Clean Rivers

  • WASA and the Army Corps of Engineers should modernize water treatment and distribution facilities
  • WASA and the Health Department should cooperate with the CDC and the EPA to carry out their recommended waterborne disease surveillance program
  • WASA should restore capital funding for lead line replacement to protect residents against lead poisoning
  • WASA should immediately initiate several Combined Sewer Overflow abatement projects to protect the Anacostia River
  • The Environmental Health Administration should end its delays in setting quantitative limits on the amount of pollution discharged to our waterways
  • Priority should be given by WASA to water conservation programs for churches, social service agencies, public housing and low income residents

Protection of Parks and Trees

  • The Mayor and Council should act to prohibit parkland development
  • The Mayor should announce a "Citywide Tree Rescue Plan" in 1999 to remove 3500 dead or hazardous trees, plant 5000 trees and prune 10,000 trees
  • The Mayor and Council should protect the Oxon Cove area as parkland and should turn Kingman and Heritage Islands in the Anacostia into a park similar to Rock Creek Park
  • The Mayor and Council should urge the National Park Service to give full consideration to the citizen-supported Alternative 2 1/2, a comprehensive vision for management of Rock Creek Park

Transportation, Energy and Improved Air Quality

  • The Mayor and Council should take action to phase out diesel buses and replace them with clean fuel buses
  • The Mayor and Council should budget for the restoration of MetroBus service to under-served neighborhoods
  • The Department of Public Works should re-establish a Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator position to more effectively use federal transportation money
  • D.C. government agencies should offer Metrocheck to employees
  • The Mayor should enroll the City in EPA's Energy Star buildings program

Sustainable Development and Economic Revitalization

  • The Council should enact new Superfund-type legislation to proactively clean up contaminated sites for redevelopment while protecting public health
  • The Mayor and Council should make efforts to enforce mixed-use development zoning rules and to avoid waivers to these rules
  • The Mayor and Council should take action to split the rate of taxation on land and buildings to reward those who maintain or improve properties and to discourage vacant lots and abandoned housing
  • The Mayor should aggressively work to keep federal jobs in the District as an anchor for economic development

Improved Tools for Protecting Our Environment

  • The Mayor should adopt a Green government initiative promoting the purchase of environmentally friendly products and toxic-free workplaces
  • The City Council should establish an income tax check-off and an environmental license plate to raise revenue for environmental protection
  • The Mayor should establish an executive position for an environmental advisor and coordinator in his office and ultimately establish an office of Environment and Natural Resources

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As the District of Columbia moves toward the restoration of fiscal stability and accountable self-government, increasing attention should be drawn to the issues that matter most to its citizens. Issues such as safe drinking water, solid waste management and transportation rank along with education, criminal justice, and street repairs as key indicators of the quality of life in Washington. Management decisions over public lands continue to stir heated debate, and public dissatisfaction with some of the City's environmental services is acute.

At the same time, environmentalists and like-minded citizens have come to recognize the role that an economically viable D.C. can play in the environmental health of the entire Washington Metropolitan Area. Efforts to "Restore the Core" with sustainable business activity will not only provide jobs for residents and funding for essential City services, but will also draw development to locations with established infrastructure and reduce the auto-dependent sprawl that continues to threaten air quality, water quality, and unspoiled natural areas throughout the region.

The D.C. Environmental Agenda 99 is the product of a collaborative effort by citizen activists from October 1998 through February 1999. Taken together, these proposals chart a course toward excellence in the provision of city services and the protection of public health. This effort should put to rest the false notion that the restoration of environmental quality in the District is somehow anti- business or incompatible with economic growth. District residents have long recognized this to be a false choice, one that public officials should not accept.

Indeed, the new Mayor and Council have an unparalleled opportunity to lead the way to sustainable economic redevelopment and a stewardship ethic toward our natural environment. As the City emerges from the financial crisis of recent years, the residents of Washington expect no less from those who would lead us into the next century.

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The management of trash and toxic wastes in the District can be greatly improved. New approaches to these old problems are available at less cost to the City than current approaches and with lower impact on our neighborhoods and natural resources. Implementation of these measures can save millions in tax dollars and reduce the chemical exposure of those who live and work in D.C.

Expand Recycling

More than 10 years after enactment of the D.C. Solid Waste Management & Multi-Material Recycling Act of 1988, recycling is just getting started in Washington. Curbside collections were recently reintroduced, but in the aggregate they have been conducted by the Department of Public Works ((DPW)) for less than four years. While our neighboring counties and other cities are achieving recycling rates of 30% to 52% of all solid waste, D.C.'s high water mark was 22% in 1995. The current rate is probably somewhere in the range of 5% to 15%.

The 1988 Recycling Act requires recycling in all commercial buildings. However, spot checking of private- sector solid waste facilities (i.e., downtown dumpsters) indicates that recycling is generally not being conducted in these buildings. DPW once employed a team of six inspectors to monitor and enforce commercial-sector compliance, but laid off those employees in 1995.

Similarly, relatively little recycling takes place in the D.C. public school system. The school administration has consistently avoided recycling even though contract waste haulers offered a reduction in costs if recycling were introduced. About 20 schools out of 200 are recycling as a result of initiatives by individual principles, teachers, and students.

Even D.C. government employees do not recycle according to a recent article in the City Paper. This has been confirmed by spot checks. Federal agencies in the District, by contrast, began organized office recycling programs more than 20 years ago.

Given that the District's municipal trash is transported, against the prevailing winds, to an incinerator in Fairfax, it is fair to say that we can either recycle our used newspapers or inhale the byproducts of their combustion. Detailed analyses conducted since 1995 by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Sierra Club, and DPW all show that the cost of recycling is lower than the cost of solid waste disposal (and at times has been significantly lower). There is, therefore, no fiscal reason not to recycle.

In addition, recycling produces a range of other environmental and energy-saving benefits to the District and to society at large. Recycling also produces local jobs - considerably more jobs than trash disposal on a per-ton basis.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) Institute recycling in the D.C. public schools. Because recycling at schools is more efficient and cost-effective than residential recycling (due to large volumes per pick-up and less contaminated material) this would save the City $1.5 million per year according to a March 5, 1997 report by the Council's Committee on Public Works. Moreover, an active recycling program would help instill in our students an appreciation for conservation. The science and economics of recycling are easily integrated into middle school curricula.

(2) Institute recycling in City government offices. City offices generate approximately 2.5 tons of recyclable materials per year, most of which is office paper. Because of the high grade of this material' the City could generate revenues of $400-$800,000 per year by recycling it.

(3) Promote and enforce commercial-sector recycling laws. A combined education and enforcement campaign would significantly increase recycling in the District.

(a) The education program should include the provision of technical assistance to building owners and tenants that sets forth the economics of recycling and provides lists of commercial recycling services.

(b) Enforcement actions should be instituted against businesses that refuse to obey the law and recycle. Hiring and training six recycling inspectors would generate revenues that would entirely or largely pay for their salaries.

(4) Conduct a pro-recycling public education campaign. Through the use of free media and public- private partnerships, the rate of public participation in recycling activities can be significantly increased, at very little public expense.

(5) Install and maintain downtown sidewalk recycling receptacles like those that have been in place on the Mall, in Rock Creek Park, and other Federal lands for many years. Such receptacles would not only pay for themselves by reducing solid waste collections and increasing economies of scale at the City's recycling center, they would publicly re-affirm the District's policies and requirements.

(6) Establish a household and school composting program.

(7) Reestablish the citizens advisory committee mandated by the 1988 law. Citizens have been leaders in forcing DPW to recycle. The advisory committee is needed for assisting DPW and for monitoring its progress.

Contact for more information: Neil Seldman Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Improve Trash Collection and Management

The District's solid waste collection and disposal system is antiquated and inefficient. DPW's fleet of compactor trucks are old and in poor repair. The Department's single transfer facility Fort Totten employs terribly outdated transfer equipment that often requires compactor trucks to wait in long lines to drop their loads, or to drive all the way down I-95 to the Fairfax incinerator, which is grossly inefficient.

In addition, little is done to regulate commercial-sector trash handling at private trash transfer stations. These facilities receive not only the 75% of the City's waste that is not collected by DPW, but an additional one million tons per year of imported trash. As a result of these high volumes and weak regulation, many District neighborhoods endure high levels of noise, odors, vermin, and heavy truck traffic. Property damage is extensive in areas surrounding these transfer stations. Legislation addressing this problem was passed in 1998 and should be swiftly implemented.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) Renovate Fort Totten. An investment of $4-5 million in new equipment and facility upgrades will produce annual savings of around $3 million, according to a 1997 Council report.

(2) Invest in a new fleet of collection, transfer, and smaller trucks.

(3) Implement and enforce transfer station legislation that substantially reduces or eliminates the adverse effects of trash transfer stations on city neighborhoods and businesses.

Contact for more information: Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Jim Schulman, Sustainable Community Initiatives.

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Restore Household Hazardous Waste Collections

A significant environmental threat to the health of District residents is presented by the variety of aging, unused household products found in garages, basements, and under kitchen sinks. Many of these products are highly toxic lead-based paint, pesticides, acids, batteries, medicines, household cleansers, etc. As their packages age they also deteriorate, increasing the likelihood of direct exposure to residents.

Hundreds of municipalities around the country, including Montgomery County, regularly operate household hazardous waste collection programs. The Department of Public Works has operated a program on a sporadic basis over the years. Restoration of this program is a cost-effect way of reducing in-home health hazards, diminishing the flow of toxic chemicals into the Fairfax incinerator, and reducing indiscriminate dumping of toxics into sanitary sewers and storm drains. Effective public outreach is crucial to the program's success.

Recommendation for Action:

(l) DPW should operate a drop-off site (or sites) for household hazardous waste twice each year. To be effective, widespread advance notice of times, locations, and accepted materials is essential.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Encourage "Deconstruction" before Demolition

Deconstruction is an alternative or supplement to the more-typical demolition of unwanted structures. Deconstruction dismantles buildings piece by piece and makes the components available for resale and reuse. This activity makes beneficial use of materials that would otherwise be land-filled, while creating jobs and developing community-based businesses.

What happens to a crumbled building after demolition? It makes its way into our solid waste stream. Demolishing a building of 10,000 square feet puts about 40,000 tons into a landfill or incinerator at a cost of $50,000 to $160,000. The implosion itself creates toxic dust containing particulates, heavy metals, mold, and other substances that may harm both human health and land, air, and water quality.

In contrast, deconstruction benefits communities by —

  • providing stable, well-paid employment and providing opportunities for entrepreneurial initiatives;
  • diverting tons of materials from landfills;
  • saving trees, industrial fuels, and other resources used in resource extraction; and
  • reducing the harm to human and environmental health caused by exposure to toxic dust emitted during demolition.

Though deconstruction is not widely employed on the East Coast, reports indicate that deconstruction businesses have turned a profit and have the potential to increase their profits. James Dandridge of the Chesapeake Sustainability Council estimated that in the 1970's, the Baltimore salvage market grossed $3.9 million annually using only 10 percent of the demolition market and 30 percent of the salvageable materials from that market share. The amounts salvaged in Washington are currently minuscule.

Recommendation for Action:

(1) The Council should enact legislation requiring a reasonable waiting period for the salvage of usable materials from buildings approved for being razed by the city government. During this period, fully-insured and indemnified salvage contractors would be permitted access to the premises to harvest building materials not wanted by the property owner. Such a law will prevent land, air, and water pollution, and further promote economic development.

Contact for more information: Jim Schulman, Sustainable Community Initiatives.

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Implement Integrated Pest Management

Pesticides are used in schools, public housing, hospitals and other government agencies, often applied directly to kitchens, living spaces, and work areas. They are a prime source of exposure to hazardous chemicals for the city's children, workers, the elderly, and chemically sensitive citizens.

The Environmental Health Administration (EHA) regulates commercial applicators of pesticides. The Hazardous Waste Pesticides Division has a staff of about three that certifies applicators and conducts inspections. The Division lacks empirical data as to the amount or nature of the pesticides that are being applied in residences and commercial buildings in the District. There may be reason to believe that pesticide use in the District is declining slightly, and that there is a gradual trend favoring the use of less hazardous chemicals, such as non-aromatic gels. However, the Division has not adopted a policy of persuading or compelling applicators to adopt modern pesticide practices, such as use reduction strategies and integrated pest management (IPM).

The City imposes a 6% tax on pesticide application services that is applied directly to the funding of the pesticides program. This is much less than the tax that is prevalent in surrounding jurisdictions. If our tax were increased accordingly, the pesticide regulation program could be improved and expanded without additional expenditures from the general fund.

Beginning with D.C. public facilities, the City should implement an IPM system using non-toxic products and biological control methods. These products are potentially cheaper and clearly reduce the health and environmental problems associated with exposure to pesticides.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should issue an Executive Order on pesticides requiring —

(a) the development of an Integrated Pest Management strategy for all D.C. Government-owned facilities, including schools; and

(b) that the total application of conventional pesticides at D.C. Government-owned facilities be reduced by 50% citywide within three years.

(2) EHA should add pesticide use reduction and IPM to the mission of the Pesticide Division.

(3) The City Council should enact a substantial increase in the D.C. tax on pesticide products and application services. Funding should be directed to increase the Pesticide Division's inspection service in public housing and in D.C. public schools.

Contact for more information: Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

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The District's water resources are substantial and diverse. Within the city, there are 39 river miles, 238 acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, 6.1 miles of estuaries and harbors, and 123 acres of tidal wetlands.

The City's economic redevelopment and social goals depend on the health and sustainability of the Anacostia River, as well as the Potomac. Yet the Anacostia is among the most polluted rivers in the country. Twenty-five years after the nation declared a policy of making all waters safe for swimming and fishing, the District's waters are anything but that. A wide array of contaminates -- including e. coli, toxic metal and organic compounds, pathogens, oil and grease, excessive nutrients, and tons of discarded trash -- not only make our waters unsightly and foul smelling -- they also jeopardize the health and well-being of residents and wildlife. Notably? every body of water in the District of Columbia fails to meet mandatory Federal water quality standards.

The District's drinking water is drawn from the Potomac River near Great Falls (occasionally from Little Falls), upstream from the city. The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) is responsible for distributing the water after it is treated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The city's aging system of buried water pipes must be flushed on a regular basis to reduce the buildup of solids and biofilms and the attendant risk of waterborne disease from microorganisms, including coliform bacteria. The importance of effective pathogen control cannot be overstated.

The solutions to the problems with D.C.'s drinking water and rivers are not always apparent, not always inexpensive, and not always achievable over the short term. Water and sewer rates are increasing nationwide at a rate of about 3% per year in real terms. WASA projects rate increases of about 4.5% per year over the next 10 years, in large part necessitated by $1.8 billion of anticipated capital improvements. But even more needs to be done, as indicated below.

Modernize Our Drinking Water System to Reduce Health Threats

After the 1993 city-wide "boil water" alert struck the District due to concerns about possible Cryptosporidium and other contaminants in our water supply, a major water industry consulting firm, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., was hired to do a top-to-bottom review of the District's drinking water treatment and distribution system. The two final reports issued in March l994 -- the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation and the Conceptual Plan for Modernization — recommended an overhaul of the treatment, operation, and maintenance of our water system. The reports noted serious deficiencies in how the water was treated and in how the distribution system was configured, operated, and maintained, which could pose significant public health threats now and into the future. Many of the important long-term recommendations for modernizing our drinking water system have been largely ignored.

The Corps of Engineers uses what is essentially Victorian-era pre-WWI-vintage technology for treating D.C.'s drinking water. While alum coagulation and sedimentation, filtration with sand/ crushed coal, and chlorine disinfection were once state-of-the-art, the basic underlying technology does not do enough to assure that dangerous microbial and chemical contaminants are removed or killed jeopardizing the health of our vulnerable populations. Our system is much like Milwaukee's before their famous 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak forced them to upgrade.

Two years ago, the District and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recommended to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a waterborne disease surveillance program in D.C. should be established to assess the problem in the City. Studies show that as much as one-third of all gastrointestinal illness nationwide may be from drinking water contamination, and local governments around the country are addressing the problem. Cincinnati, Ohio and a large system serving southern New Jersey communities have recently upgraded their drinking water systems to incorporate granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration and/or ozonation disinfection (which actually kills Crypto and Giardia and reduces the toxic byproducts of chlorination) at the additional cost of $25 to $30 per family per year.

The additional disinfectants (chlorine) added by the Corps to control microbial problems do not kill either Crypto or Giardia and create a number of dangerous families of chemicals called "disinfection byproducts" that according to several studies are associated with increased bladder and rectal cancer in people exposed. Several recent studies also indicate that high spikes of these chemicals ingested by pregnant women in their first trimester may be associated with birth defects like spina bifida and an increased likelihood of miscarriage.

While many of the first priority, immediate actions that were recommended in the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation and the Plan for Modernization have been completed, (including many of the pipe flushing and reservoir cleaning suggestions) most of the long-term recommendations of the Plan for Modernization have not been implemented. In order to assure the longterrn health of district residents, the District must commit to assuring that our drinking water system is modernized.

For example, the consultants recommended that we reduce the threats from Cryptosporidium and other parasites, and reduce our relatively high levels of cancer-causing and possibly birth defect and miscarriage-inducing disinfection byproducts in our water. The first step recommended — switching to chloramines as a disinfectant — is underway. However, the consultants' recommendation that by the year 2002 the District's water be treated using modern technology that can both kill Cryptosporidium and reduce the threats from disinfection byproducts ozone and Granular Activated Carbon filter caps, full treatment of recycle streams, filter to waste, and several other changes in treatment — have not been initiated.

Moreover, the District needs to adopt a modernization program for its pipes in the distribution system. Many of these pipes are well over 100 years old, and are crumbling. There are still many "dead ends" where the water is stagnant, serving as an excellent growth medium for bacteria. The problem with old, leaky drinking water pipes is compounded by the fact that there are over 440 identified "cross connections" with the city's decaying sewer lines where the two lay proximate to each other, potentially allowing raw sewage to leak into our "treated" drinking water supply. In addition, the water line flushing program has identified many of the valves in the system that are so old and brittle that they break. Thus, a citywide, long-term prioritized plan to replace or rework older, at-risk reservoirs and pipes (and, as noted elsewhere, to replace lead pipes and fittings), should be adopted, to address these problems before it again becomes a citywide crisis.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The D.C. Water & Sewer Authority (WASA) and the Army Corps of Engineers should convene a public, open process to adopt and commit to funding a step-by-step 5 to 10-year modernization plan. The plan should outline how to convert our water treatment plants to modern technology, such as ozone, granular activated carbon, or other modern treatment technologies, to reduce both microbiological and chemical contamination risks.

(2) WASA should adopt a long term distribution modernization, operation and maintenance plan. This should set specific timelines and priorities for pipe and valve replacement, dead end removal, cross-connection elimination, and routine flushing and reservoir cleaning.

(3) WASA and the Health Department should cooperate with CDC and EPA to carry out the recommended waterborne disease surveillance program in the District.

(4) WASA should convene a public advisory group. The group should include community, environmental, consumer, and other non-governmental leaders to solicit input from the community on the above issues, the Consumer Confidence Report (or "right-to-know" report), source water assessment, rate structure and the Intended Use Plan.

(5) WASA should adopt a progressive rate structure and "Lifeline Rates" for low-income individuals. Other cities such as Philadelphia, insulate low-income households from inevitable rate increases that occur when the system is upgraded and improved and the District should do the same.

Contact for more information: Erik Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Protect the Source Of Our Drinking Water

The District has recently begun efforts to fulfill its mandate under the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to draft a "Source Water Assessment Plan" (SWAP) (due to EPA in February l 999).

In order for the SWAP to be effective, the D.C. Health Department and WASA will have to include citizens throughout the whole process and coordinate with Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and to a lesser extent Philadelphia on the assessment. The SWAP Citizens Advisory Committee, which met a few times in 1998-1999 strongly urged that the District to maintain the Committee and to continue public participation throughout the actual implementation of the assessment plan, when the all-important assessment of pollution sources is being conducted.

The extent of the threats to D.C.'s source water cannot be overstated. One-half billion chickens are reared and processed in the Potomac Basin each year with waste flowing off the land upstream of D.C. In addition, dairy, logging and agribusiness operations and a new hog concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) operate in the region, raw sewage overflows and treated sewage effluent are a recurring problem, and an explosion of suburban sprawl in recent years has further compounded the runoff problems threatening the water quality of the Potomac Basin. What is urgently needed is an honest appraisal of the problem (including new monitoring as necessary), naming the known and potential polluters, and an action plan to address the major pollution sources.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Department of Health should work with the SWAP Citizen Advisory Committee to complete a detailed Source Water Assessment Plan, using an open, public process. The assessment should name known and potential polluters and undertake new monitoring to track down additional pollution sources.

(2) The Department of Health should adopt a Source Water Protection Plan to implement source water pollution control. The District should use all legal and other powers available to it to limit source water pollution.

Contact for more information: Paul Schwartz, Clean Water Action.

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Reduce Our Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water

Drinking water is the source of a portion of the "burden" of lead that we all carry in our bodies. For most of us, the overall burden is low, and the portion attributable to drinking water is also low. However, those exposed to lead from the flakes or abrasion of lead paint or lead contaminated soils may be carrying dangerously high levels of lead, and lead levels in drinking water may aggravate such unsafe conditions. Children are most vulnerable to experiencing permanent damages from excessive levels of lead.

Lead has not been found at dangerous levels in drinking water as it enters the D.C. system. However, our drinking water passes through brass plumbing fixtures which contain lead, indoor plumbing that may be soldered with lead, and for about 24,000 households (nearly l out of 4 in the District), lead pipe service lines connecting water mains in the street to individual homes. Most often, films accumulate on the inside of these conveyances that isolate the leaded material from the water, rendering it relatively harmless. However, disturbance to established piping, such as leaks and efforts to repair leaks, may expose the water to lead anew. What's more, the chemical characteristics of the water entering the system affect the degree to which lead can be scoured from the piping system as water passes through.

Monitoring for lead in D.C. tap water was begun in 1992, and is currently underway. About 100 households thought to be representative of the most "at-risk" populations are tested over a 6-month period. Results are analyzed by the Corps at Dalecarlia, the only certified drinking water lab in the city.

Though legally the problem should have been addressed many years ago, the Corps, EPA, and WASA have yet to agree on a preferred buffering agent to add to drinking water at Dalecarlia. Lime has been used for several years, but other agents are under consideration, including zinc phosphate, which also has benefits for pathogen control. The Corps' latest consultant's study is now at EPA for review.

During the late 80's (before the creation of WASA), DPW was budgeted for lead line replacement, and about 2,800 lead service lines were replaced before the program ended in the early 90's. Currently, as WASA detects the need to replace water mains in the street, lead service lines are replaced at the same time (but only up to the property line; it is up to the homeowner to arrange for replacement of the balance of the line to the house.) About 1,000 lead lines have been replaced in this manner since 1985.

Due to the permanent nature of damages to children from excessive lead, steps to reduce this risk should be taken quickly.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, EPA, and the Corps of Engineers should promptly resolve outstanding issues and introduce an improved lead buffering agent at Dalecarlia to reduce the reactivity of drinking water with lead in pipes, joints, and plumbing.

(2) WASA should increase the frequency of tapwater testing for lead beyond EPA minimums and have test results periodically analyzed at other labs in addition to Dalecarlia.

(3) WASA should change current policy and require complete replacement of lead lines when adjoining water mains are replaced.

(4) WASA should restore capital funding for high priority lead line replacement for populations most at risk.

Contact for more information: Ed Osann, Potomac Resources, Inc.

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Manage Stormwater Discharges to Reduce Pollution

Stormwater is responsible for a significant share of the pollution entering our waterways. When rainfall strikes unvegetated ground, city streets, parking lots, rooftops and other impermeable surfaces, it begins a virtually straight path to our rivers, via underground conduits. At the beginning of this journey, before reaching sewer grates, stormwater picks up an enormous load of garbage and pollution. Oil and other vehicular fluids, pesticides, road de-leers in the winter, leaves in the fall, sand and dirt, air pollution that has fallen from the sky, dog, bird and other animal wastes and trash are well represented, particularly in the "first flush" during the first few hours of a storm.

Another very important pollutant, though invisible, is heat. When a summer storm "cools off' the city, much of that heat is simply being transferred to our rivers. And with every l-degree increase in river temperature, ambient concentrations of oxygen plummet, killing the fish that depend on it.

(In large portions of the city, storm sewers serve the dual purpose of conveying sewage as well as surface runoff. During periods of heavy rain or snowmelt, these "combined sewers" carry more water than can be treated at Blue Plains and at several points overflow, carrying untreated sewage into Rock Creek, the Potomac, and especially the Anacostia. Combined sewer overflows are addressed in the next section of this Agenda.)

Under the Clean Water Act, D.C. is required to obtain a Federal permit that sets forth how the District will control pollution carried by stormwater. The District has failed to develop its program, and thus has failed to meet two deadlines for applying for this mandatory Federal permit.

To eventually secure Federal approval for its stormwater permit, the District will need to establish a sustainable funding mechanism for its stormwater operations and investments. A pro bono organization, D.C. Appleseed, is now conducting a study that is evaluating the methods that other cities use to finance their stormwater management programs. It is expected that the D.C. Appleseed report will recommend that revenues for a stormwater management program be generated through a user fee. It is also expected that the report will recommend that the District create or designate an existing agency with the responsibility for managing its stormwater management program. Some have suggested that WASA should be designated as the District's stormwater utility. WASA's managers have signaled a willingness to accept lead agency status for stormwater management if the District of Columbia is listed as permittee, and if dedicated revenues are authorized to be collected by WASA or are passed through to WASA, to finance system improvements from a source other than water and sewer rates.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The District must take immediate steps to ensure that its stormwater program is developed and the permit application is filed. In its application, the District should:

(a) Establish a lead agency that will be accountable for keeping the District focused on stormwater management. The District currently has four agencies involved in stormwater functions: the Department of Health, the Department of Public Works, the Water and Sewer Authority, and the Corporation Counsel. Regardless of which agency holds the stormwater permit, the District must place lead responsibility for the stormwater program in a single agency to ensure that, as with other environmental programs, the District does not lose focus and blur accountability for results.

(b) Develop mechanisms for reducing stormwater flow into the sewers, and not merely for improving the quality of stormwater. The District must take steps towards source reduction, such as limiting the development of green space, actively planting and preserving trees, and providing incentives for the owners of existing structures and parking lots to retain more stormwater before it reaches the street. Such steps will not only reduce pollution of waterways caused by direct stormwater discharges, but will also reduce the frequency and duration of raw sewage discharges through combined sewers.

(c) Quickly implement two pilot projects to capture floating debris at the point of discharge. New technology is available to prevent the outpouring of trash from storm sewers into our waterways.

(d) Finance the stormwater program with an equitable user charge ensuring that the Federal government pays its fair share. Stormwater management is made necessary by development. Accordingly, the Federal government, which owns 41% of the land in the District, should contribute to financing the stormwater program. Relying solely on the local property tax or on the District's General Fund will preclude the Federal government from contributing. This is an issue with significant financial and equity ramifications, and the Mayor should be involved in these discussions at the earliest possible date.

(e) Address Federal agency non-compliance with D.C. stormwater control laws and regulations. The City will never be able to fully control stormwater runoff to District waters without the cooperation of the Federal government. Nevertheless, Federal agencies are recalcitrant in responding to these requirements. Many major Federal construction projects proceed without D.C. permits and inspections, resulting in increased runoff and water pollution. Action is needed to bring the Federal government into compliance.

(f) Improve and fully fund the DOH's Stormwater Regulation & Permitting Program to support Federal permit requirements and future economic development. New Federal stormwater management requirements taking effect in early 1999 will impose approximately $360,000 in unfunded requirements on the D.C. government (e.g., increased monitoring and laboratory analysis, investigation and enforcement of illegal discharges, evaluation of proposed stormwater controls). This funding is in addition to over $2 million in funding requirements DOH has identified as necessary to achieve a viable stormwater control program. Failure of the City to meet these requirements could result in a Federal enforcement action and hefty fines. More importantly, these components of effective stormwater control are essential to support new economic growth.

(2) The Mayor should initiate an intergovernmental summit to address suburban stormwater runoff. Even if the City were to solve its own contributions to water quality impairment, D.C. water resources like the Anacostia would still not meet water quality standards due to floating debris and sediments streaming in from the waters upstream in Maryland. Suburban dumping will not stop until the Mayor demands that it stop. The Mayor should initiate negotiations on this issue with Governor Glendening, the Prince George's and Montgomery County Executives, and the Army Corps of Engineers. If the suburban jurisdictions fail to respond, the Mayor should call for an EPA-led arbitration to resolve the issue.

Contact for more information: Josh Wyner, D.C. Appleseed Center; Ed Osann, Potomac Resources, Inc.

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Restore the Anacostia River

The greatest negative impacts of water pollution in the District are found along the Anacostia River. The river's pollution is delaying economic redevelopment and denying the City's most needy communities incalculable social benefits. A clean Anacostia River will increase property values and attract new business and investment. It will also open the way for residents and tourists to use and appreciate neglected attractions such as the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Fredrick Douglas House, and the National Arboretum. The intangible social benefits from a clean Anacostia are even greater. Restoring the Anacostia from an open sewer to a healthy and attractive ecosystem is an apt metaphor for the civic renewal now anticipated throughout Washington.

In addition to the stormwater problems identified above, at least three major issues must be faced early in the Anacostia restoration effort.

Combined Sewer Overflows

The current permit from EPA for municipal wastewater discharges in the District will expire in July 1999, and the process for developing the terms and conditions for a new permit is underway. This next permit will be critical for finally addressing the District's combined sewer overflow (CSO) problems, whereby untreated sewage is discharged into Rock Creek, the Potomac, and especially the Anacostia River virtually every time it rains. EPA will require, as a condition for this new permit, that the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority will have completed a long-term CSO control plan by mid-2001 and will be seeking its approval from the D.C. Department of Health and EPA. In March of 1999, WASA will convene a group of stakeholders for public participation in the preparation of the long-term plan by WASA's contractor. A broad array of control measures is expected to be considered, with a wide range of costs and cost effectiveness.

In addition to discharging untreated sewage, the combined sewer system is a significant source of floating debris and litter in the Anacostia, and WASA currently operates a debris removal vessel on the river. Environmentalists are seeking early action on new technology to capture floating debris at the outfalls, in lieu of booms and skimmer boats. WASA believes that evaluation and implementation of such measures could take 18 months. This project could probably be speeded up with the involvement and support of the Mayor.

Water Quality Standards

The D.C. government long ago set water quality standards for the Anacostia River that were intended to restore the river to fishable and swimmable condition. A succession of plans and permits over the years has failed to significantly close the gap between these aspirations and the deplorable quality of the river's waters and bottom sediments. As WASA begins to evaluate seriously its potential new investments in CSO and stormwater control measures (see above), officials at EPA, the D.C. Department of Health (which sets water quality standards), and WASA are beginning to question the wisdom of maintaining such high targets for river restoration. The argument is also made that notwithstanding even unprecedented levels of new investment by WASA, making the Anacostia fishable and swimmable will be impossible without huge investments upstream in Maryland, for which no such commitments have been received.

At some point, water quality standards and the plans to achieve those standards must match up. According to EPA guesstimates, the investment needed in D.C. alone to achieve D.C.'s water quality standards as written could exceed $1 billion. In order to make the planning process for the long-term control plan for CSO's meaningful, questions should be resolved about the goal for Anacostia clean-up, and how achievement of the goal will be measured.

Community and environmental advocates would strongly oppose any effort to "write off" portions of the Anacostia by limiting the application of the fishable and swimmable designation.

Contaminated Sediments

The sediments in portions of the Anacostia riverbed are contaminated with high levels of toxic pollutants, such as PCB's and chlordane. The sources of this contamination include historical discharges from Federal facilities, industrial facilities, leaking underground storage tanks, and discharges upstream in Maryland. The presence of these toxics threaten to negate any long-term water pollution control measures on the Anacostia. The characterization and clean up of contaminated sediments is a complex and expensive proposition that will not occur without the participation and assistance of the Federal government and other responsible regional parties.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should set high goals for Anacostia River restoration as a benchmark for the upcoming efforts to abate the pollution coming from the District's combined sewers. Public must get focused on developing cost-effective ways of meeting fishable and swimmable objectives' rather than seeking to remove the goalposts that are the basis of the community's expectations for Anacostia River restoration.

(2) WASA should immediately initiate several CSO abatement projects for completion within the coming year, including repair and upgrade of the swirl concentrator; rehabilitation of the Main O Street and Eastside pump stations; and complete repair or replacement of fabridams.

(3) The Mayor and Council should encourage and facilitate stakeholder participation in the planning process for controlling CSO's that WASA will begin this March. This will be a multiyear effort, and the City should ensure that public participation in the process is meaningful.

(4) WASA should install and evaluate two new pilot projects for interim abatement of CSO's using newly available technology. For example, the Equaflow System is a device to capture and contain CSO effluent until after storm event, when the effluent is pumped to the treatment plant.

(5) The Mayor should request Federal funds and support to clean up contaminated sediments in the Anacostia River. The characterization and clean up of contaminated sediments is a complex and expensive proposition that will not occur without substantial Federal assistance. Currently, however, the District has no strategy or plan to obtain funding for contaminated sediment remediation.

(6) The Mayor should announce plans for 8 to 10 new public boat access points to the Anacostia River. Drawing the public back to the Anacostia is one key to the river's recovery. In conjunction with the dedication of the new Anacostia Fish Hatchery in June of 1999, the Mayor should invite the public to return to the river through new paddlesport boat access ramps. Such ramps could be funded through existing and planned waterfront improvement projects at locations such as Southeast Federal Center, Poplar Point, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and Kingman Island.

Contact for more information: Robert Boone, Anacostia Watershed Society.

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Help Get the Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up Back on Schedule

The District, through the Office of the Mayor, is a participant in interstate agreements pledging to clean up Chesapeake Bay. As the largest wastewater treatment plant in the entire Chesapeake watershed, D.C.'s Blue Plains plant is one of the lynch-pins in Bay clean-up efforts. On a pilot basis, D.C. Water and Sewer Authority has been running half of the discharge of the plant through an advanced process known as Biological Nutrient Removal, or BNA. The BNA process has achieved greater success at nitrogen removal than expected. However, delays within other jurisdictions have led to public acknowledgement that the interstate goal set to reduce nitrogen inputs to the Bay by 40% in the year 2000, originally set in 1987, will not be met.

WASA's ability to further reduce large amounts of nitrogen on a cost-effective basis puts the District in a position for leadership on Bay clean-up.

Recommendation for Action:

(1) The Mayor should express to EPA and the Governors of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania a willingness to implement further nitrogen removal at Blue Plains in return for reciprocal commitments of additional action from the states.

Contact for more information: Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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Set Maximum Pollution Loads that Protect Our Waterways

An important regulatory tool for reducing water pollution is known as the "total maximum daily load" ("TMDL"). Unlike the technology-based discharge limitations that serve as a standard for most discharges (e.g., "best available technology"), TMDL's represent an actual physical limit on the total amount of pollution that can be discharged to a given waterway or waterway segment. For example, TMDL's might contain a weight-based ceiling on the amount of oil and grease that is discharged into the Anacostia River above East Capitol Street.

TMDL's must assure protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife. Thus they provide a backstop that protects public health and the environment where conventional, technology-based point source controls prove inadequate. They permit regulators to assure that we are on the path toward fishable and swimmable waterways.

The Clean Water Act sets for a firm deadline for the issuance of TMDL's for every waterway in the country: June of 1979. However, 15 years after that deadline, not a single TMDL had been established in the District. In fact, it wasn't until earlier this year that the District made its first step to submit TMDL's for EPA's review, and that submission was only half a loaf at best.

Litigation is now underway to compel the District to develop these important standards. It would be better to invest the District's resources in developing the standards than in paying lawyers to litigate. Virtually every other state in the country has developed, or is developing, TMDL's.

Recommendation for Action:

(1) The Environmental Health Administration should end its delays and set quantitative limits on the amount of pollution that can be discharged to our public waterways, segment by segment, as required by the Clean Water Act.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Complement Infrastructure Needs with Water Conservation Measures

In most years, rainfall in the Potomac River Basin is ample enough to obscure the value of conserving water and preventing waste. But facing the enormous fiscal and physical needs to improve its water and wastewater infrastructure, the District and the neighboring jurisdictions that share portions of these systems can no longer afford to overlook the benefits of cost-effective opportunities to save water.

Regarding wastewater, the Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) of 1985 between the District, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission allocates the right to use and the obligation to pay for wastewater treatment at the District's Blue Plains treatment plant. For some time, the average annual wastewater flows from the District have been running significantly above D.C.'s allocation. No suburban jurisdictions have forced the issue as of yet. But either the District must find effective steps to reduce its average inflows to Blue Plains, or it must purchase the right to use more of the capacity of the plant from suburban jurisdictions that may be reluctant to sell, or a process must be initiated to renegotiate or replace the IMA.

Neither WASA nor DPW before it has developed an effective program to reduce unnecessary wastewater flows to Blue Plains, and some future measures to curb untreated discharges from combined sewer outfalls (CSO's) in the District (see above) may actually increase average flows to the plant even further.

Measures to reduce D.C.'s average wastewater flows to Blue Plains might include —

  • The identification and lining of sewers that are allowing the leakage of groundwater into the sewer system;
  • Reductions in the discharge of groundwater pumped from around the foundations of offices and apartment buildings into the sanitary sewer system; and
  • Water conservation programs to assist WASA's customers — especially low income customers and non-profit institutions — to reduce their indoor water consumption and their water and sewer bills.

But any measure or combination of measures will cost money. Until and unless WASA seriously evaluates a set of inflow reduction measures and develops clear estimates of their costs, the District will be severely hampered in any discussions with the suburbs about revising the allocations contained in the IMA.

As for drinking water, about 25 % of the treated water that enters the D.C. water distribution system is "unaccounted for" -- either lost to leaks in the system, underrecorded through faulty meters, diverted without authorization, or used to an unknown degree for system flushing or firefighting. fighting.. This is about double the accepted benchmark of 10 to 15% for the water utility industry, and triple the level achieved by many well-run water systems.

Leaking water mains often turn into broken water mains. Water main breaks have sharply increased, from an average of 12 per month in the first half of 1998, to 35 to 45 per month in the second half of the year, to 141 in the month of January alone.

Clearly WASA must act to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance, and funds have been budgeted for this purpose. But in addition, a regular program of leak detection -- typically involving the use of acoustical monitoring equipment -- and preventive repairs would offer the mutually reinforcing benefits of conserving water, preventing contamination, improving service reliability, and reducing the volume of water treatment plant sludge produced at Dalecarlia. Today WASA must respond to a growing number of emergency breaks. In coming years, WASA crews should be finding small leaks before they turn into disruptive and hazardous geysers.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) WASA, EPA, and suburban jurisdictions should enter in to a regional agreement to identify, evaluate, and implement cost-effective measures to reduce excessive inflows to Blue Plains. A full range of water conservation measures should be included in this program.

(2) WASA should institute a regular program of leak detection and repair for the drinking water distribution system, using state-of-the-art equipment to find leaks ends schedule them for repair. The entire system should be surveyed at least once every three years, with large mains and problematic areas surveyed annually.

(3) Churches, social service agencies, public housing, and low income homeowners should receive priority attention from WASA in the development of programs to conserve water and reduce water and sewer bills.

Contact for more information: Ed Osann, Potomac Resources, Inc.

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Protect and Restore Urban Riverfronts

Washington's waterfront land is a valuable asset. While much of this land is owned by the Federal government, the District should act to ensure the protection of all remaining waterfront parkland while encouraging sound redevelopment of waterfront "brownfields" and land that has previously been put to industrial use (e.g., the Florida Rock site, Buzzard's Point, etc.).

Unfortunately, several recent actions have been taken that would -- if left unchallenged -- diminish the natural values of our waterfronts. Since 1995, the D.C. government has allowed and even encouraged the transfer of almost 100 acres of National Park System land for private development. Kingman and Heritage Islands were deeded to the District, which in turn gave development rights to a developer proposing a theme park. Currently, a 42-acre parcel along Oxon Cove is in the process of being transferred from the National Park Service to a private developer for construction of a prison. These actions were undertaken with the support or acquiescence of a number of D.C. elected officials, most notably former Mayor Barry. With such a blessing, Congress has felt free to give away these public lands for inappropriate purposes.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The City Council should adopt a resolution declaring that waterfront parkland will remain as parkland and be off limits to development not directly related to enjoyment or protection of the water (For example, public boathouses, nature centers and the like would be appropriate uses.) This resolution should then be widely circulated to Congress, the Zoning Commission, and other bodies that affect the disposition of waterfront land in the District.

(2) The Council should amend the D.C. Comprehensive Plan to preclude development on waterfront parkland except for uses appropriate to a park.

(3) For private lands, the City should offer incentives for environmentally sound, creative uses of waterfront parcels. Such development should allow public access to the rivers. It would serve to spur additional economic development in adjacent areas.

(4) The Zoning Commission should re-examine existing zoning regulations for private waterfront property and amend the regulations to account for the impact of riverfront development on the river and its adjoining habitat.

Contact for more information: Gwyn Jones, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter; Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth.

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Washington is blessed with an unusually high proportion of parkland within its borders, approaching 25% of the City's total area. It also enjoys a relatively high number of trees. But we have taken these resources for granted, allowing many parks to be used for inappropriate development (e.g., Washington Harbor) and others to slide into disuse (MacMillan Reservoir and Kingman Island). Rejuvenating our network of parks, forests, and street trees will require the adoption and adherence to reasonable policies, rather than the expenditure of large sums of money.

Adopt a General Policy on Parkland Conservation

Parkland has always, and will always be vulnerable to inappropriate development, because it can generally be acquired for "free", and because it obviates the displacement of residents and businesses. Federal law recognizes that parkland is vulnerable to development and places special restrictions on parkland use. For example, the Federal-Aid Highway Act prohibits the use of parkland for highways unless there is "no reasonable and prudent alternative."

Recommendations for Action:

The District Government should formally adopt a parkland protection policy that includes:

(1) a prohibition of parkland development, unless there is "no reasonable and prudent alternative;" and

(2) a prohibition of parkland use, except for uses that require parkland for the benefit of the general public (such as a public nature education center, or a public boat rental facility).

This policy should be enacted into law to apply to land over which the District has regulatory jurisdiction. With respect to land under Federal control, the policy should be adhered to by the Administration and by its representatives to regulatory bodies such as the National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts, etc. All efforts should be made to persuade other entities, such as Federal agencies, the Congress, regulatory entities, and development interests, to respect and/or adopt this policy.

Contact for more information: Gwyn Jones, New Columbia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

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Restore Washington's Street Trees — Our Urban Forest

The importance of our street trees in Washington D.C. — our "urban forest" — to the quality of life in Washington is difficult to overstate. Urban trees provide energy savings, water pollution abatement, flood control, privacy, wildlife habitat, and feelings of community well being. Further, because of shading and evapotranspiration, trees dramatically reduce the "heat island effect" that makes the city 5-9 degrees hotter than the suburbs in the summer, discouraging tourism, businesses, and residents. Though once known as the "City of Trees" because of the majesty of its tree resource, D.C. has significantly reduced the size and health of its street tree population over the last decade.

Approximately 100,000 trees now grace our streets. This figure is a guess because the latest inventory is more than 20 years old. About 5 % of these trees, or 5,000, die each year. However, we have planted fewer than 500 trees per year since 1994. Therefore, we are losing 4,500 trees per year, net. To return to a sustainable level of tree maintenance and planting, a significant investment (approx. $5- 6MM/year) is required. Over the short term, however, $2.5MM from the defunct Barney Circle Highway is available for planting; it needs to be unblocked immediately.

Dutch elm disease (DED) threatens 8,000-10,000 elm trees. Most cities suffer from a DED infection rate of 3% annually. D.C.'s rate is 6% annually. Although there are no cures for DED, there are well established methods of control, including sanitation, fungicidal treatment, and bark beetle control, which greatly improve the chance of retaining these superb trees.

Public works crews often damage tree root systems while performing maintenance activities. For example, the root systems of trees along the 1800 and 1900 blocks of Park Road, NW, were recently devastated by repair crews.

Until 1991, a network of volunteer associations, such as Trees for the City, Trees for Capitol Hill, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, American Forests, the Sierra Club, and some 60 other organizations was actively engaged in tree planting activities. Volunteer tree planting programs are important not only because they contribute "free" resources to this important endeavor, but because local residents are far more likely to water and protect new trees when they have been involved in the planting. Although DPW failed to maintain this public/private partnership, these organizations remain available to forge a new partnership with the City, involving potentially thousands of children and adults in a collaborative effort of neighborhood improvement.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should announce a "Citywide Tree Rescue Plan," featuring the following components:

(a) Remove all dead and dying elms by April, 1999 (a total of 450 trees from a population of 8,000; cost of $320,000)

(b) Remove an additional 3,000 dead or hazardous street trees in 1999. (cost of $2 million). Also, by Sept. 1999, inventory remaining hazardous trees which require removal. The backlog of hazardous trees and limbs is a very serious legal liability for the city.

(c) Plant 5,000 trees (indigenous species wherever possible) in 1999 and prepare a new tree planting plan for D.C. (cost of $1.5 million).

(d) Prune 10,000 trees in 1999 (cost of $650,000.).

(e) Restore alliances with D.C. community tree-planting groups.

(2) The Mayor should appoint a blue-ribbon panel of urban forestry experts to provide ongoing guidance to the city. The panel should be comprised of experts from the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, D.C. Parks and Recreation, and two urban foresters from other U.S. cities. This panel should meet 2-4 times per year and submit its findings to the Mayor's office. (Matching U.S.F.S. funds are available to support costs of such a panel at $12,000$20,000 annually.)

(3) The Mayor should release $2.5 million from the defunct Barney Circle Freeway and make it available for elm tree removals and tree planting. This money has been set aside and is "on hold" at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Within 6 months of its release, DPW can have 2,000 trees planted.

(4) DPW should develop new policies to minimize tree damage by road crews and public utilities. All activities that involve invasive work within the area occupied by street trees should be reviewed by Tree Division personnel for best management practices to reduce detrimental impacts to tree resources.

(5) DPW should fill positions that are needed to support an expanded tree planting program. These include two new horticulturists and one pruner/trimmer for tree care staff; three contract supervisors for the tree division; and one new equipment operator/horticulturist for the landscape division. (Est. cost of $275,000 annually.)

(6) DPW should review the qualifications required for the position of Director of the Tree Division. Consider a requirement for an urban forestry professional.

(7) DPW should initiate a comprehensive tree inventory and establish a GIS-based management program (est. cost $250,000.). Update tree inventory every 3 years on average.

(8) The Mayor and Council should ensure ongoing funding of the Tree Division at a level of $5-6 million per year, or about $10 per capita.

Contact for more information: Keith Pitchford, Pitchford and Associates.

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Reject the Oxon Cove Prison Proposal

In a Congressionally mandated land swap, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has obtained 42 acres of National Park Service land on the north side of Oxon Cove (part of the Potomac River) in Ward 8.

The land affords the only access to the riverfront for the local community in an already environmentally stressed and economically depressed area. Bolling Air Force Base and Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant occupy the rest of the waterfront.

CCA has proposed to build a 2,200-bed penitentiary on this parcel and hopes to acquire an additional 30 acres from the District -- approximately 10 acres from the existing D.C. impound lot and approximately 20 acres from D.C. Village. The National Park Service was an unwilling party to the transfer and had planned this parcel for a hiker-biker trail to be contiguous with the existing trail on the Maryland side, and possibly a golf course.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor and Council should act to protect Oxon Cove land as parkland and oppose attempts to use the land for commercial/industrial development.

(2) The City Council should reject pending legislation that would permit approximately 30 acres of City land adjacent to the CCA parcel in Ward 8 to be declared surplus. This land should be retained by the District.

Contact for more information: Eugene Dewitt Kinlow, Ward 8 Coalition; Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth.

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Protect Kingman and Heritage Islands

For more than 15 years private developers have sought to build a theme park, known as "Children's Island," on 46 acres of Anacostia Park land, including the southern half of Kingman Island and all of Heritage Island. Since the Control Board's February 1998 rejection of the Children's Island proposal, representatives of neighborhood and environmental groups have met several times in an ongoing effort to produce a consensus as to the best way of developing the islands in an environmentally responsible way.

Environmentally sensitive development of these islands would take full advantage of the enormous recreational, educational, and ecological potential of this wild, forested area and would be in line with efforts to protect and restore the water quality of the Anacostia River. It would also serve as a southern bulwark against further development of Anacostia Park.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) Establish a task force to prepare a plan for development of the islands into a park whose character is similar to Rock Creek Park. The park development plan should:

  • preserve the predominantly forested character of the islands;
  • provide opportunities for enjoyment of wildlife and nature;
    • include an environmental educational facility;
    • enable recreational access to the Anacostia;
    • ensure broad public input and comment; and
    • address possible funding sources.

The task force should be composed of representatives of the Administration, the Council, neighborhood groups, the two nearest ANCs, environmental/civic groups, and development interests.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter; Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth.

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Speak Out on the General Management Plan for Rock Creek Park

One look at a map of the city makes obvious the enormous significance of Rock Creek Park to the District of Columbia. The activities and opportunities found in this urban forest park play a major role in the quality of life experienced by D.C. residents.

In 1997, the National Park Service began to develop a general management plan ("GMP") for Rock Creek Park. During that process, four different scenarios outlining the general direction of that GMP emerged: Status Quo, Recreational Emphasis, Scenic Driving Emphasis, and Wilderness Emphasis. In response, over 35 organizations have come together in a loose alliance called the People's Alliance for Rock Creek ("PARC"). PARC has developed its own compilation of scenario elements into a new scenario known as "Alternative 2 l/2." This alternative calls for the partial closing of Beech Drive to commuter traffic. Other areas identified in Alternative 2 1/2 that the GMP needs to address include: increasing educational opportunities, eliminating combined sewer overflows m the park, mitigating surface runoff from the surrounding watershed, improving existing trails, improving non-motorized access from surrounding neighborhoods and increasing access via public transit and school buses to facilities like the Nature Center and Pierce Mill.

Recommendation for Action:

The Mayor and the Council should formally urge the National Park Service to —

(1) give full consideration to the adoption of the community-supported Alternative 2 1/2;

(2) enforce existing regulations: Minimize stormwater runoff, adjacent development on the park.

Contact for more information: Rick Morgan, PARC.

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Complete the Georgetown Waterfront Park

The proposed Georgetown Waterfront Park, a ten acre park along the Potomac River from Rock Creek and Thompson's Boat House to Key Bridge, linking with the C&O Historical Park, is the missing piece of the National Park Service's Potomac riverfront parkland. Congress allocated $1 million for the park in 1998, to be matched by the Georgetown Commission. The National Park Service will implement and manage the park. However, in order to start work on the park, the D.C. Department of Public equipment currently on the land must be relocated to new facilities.

Recommendation for Action:

(1) The Mayor should identify the funds in the current budget surplus, or in the FY 2000 budget necessary for relocation of the Department of Public Works' equipment

Contact for more information: Anne Satterthwaite, Georgetown Waterfront Commission.

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Thirty-two percent of D.C. households do not have access to a car. Many residents of D.C. and its inner suburbs who do own a car would prefer not to use it to commute to work. Yet the nation's capital has too often been forced to place the needs of commuters driving into the city every day over the needs of the city's residents. Thus, a balanced transportation policy for D.C. will seek to reduce pollution from vehicles (the chief contributor to D.C.'s air pollution problem), while improving services for the large segment of the population without cars or choosing not to use their cars for everyday life. Both of these objectives can be reached by enhancing transit, walking and bicycling.

Washington D.C. can only rebuild itself for long-term economic stability by protecting and improving the livability of the city's neighborhoods. Investing in D.C.'s existing transportation infrastructure and improving transportation choices beyond the car is vital to the economic recovery of the nation's capital.

Plan for Clean Transportation

Transportation is the primary source of air pollution in the District of Columbia and the region. Air pollution harms the health of our citizens (particularly seniors, children, and the ill), and contributes to the rising cost of respiratory illness in our community. Traffic congestion on our streets directly affects the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

From 1995-1997 the Department of Public Works conducted a long-range planning process to map out a preferred future scenario for the District of Columbia's economy and the transportation system necessary to support that scenario. The transportation vision and the strategy that came out of that process (titled "A Transportation Vision, Strategy. and Action Plan for the Nation's Capital") made a number of worthwhile recommendations, including the expansion and strengthening of mass transit, the development of a network of bicycle trails and routes, and the construction of a new light rail system.

These recommendations, which provide a framework for the next 20 years of transportation investments in the city, generally represent sound transportation policy and should be implemented. However, the Plan can be criticized for failing to identify pollution reduction as a priority. For example, the construction of municipal parking lots, which would encourage added automobile trips, should have received a lower ranking than the restoration of bus, HOV, taxi, and bicycle lanes that existed in the 1970's on the city's major arterial streets.

Today, more than a year after the 1997 Transportation Plan was unveiled, there is little evidence that its recommendations are being implemented. Even the "Early Action Items" (see pages l l-12 of the Plan), so designated because they would not require legislative approval or extensive funding, do not seem to be moving forward.

Planning for enhanced bicycle transportation is similarly gridlocked. Unfortunately, the Office of Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator in DPW's Intermodal Planning Office was abolished in 1992.

Recently, over $15 million has been authorized (via the 1998 Federal transportation act (TEA-21 ) and the D.C. FY99 capital budget) for planning, design, and construction of bicycle-oriented infrastructure. However, the lack of a bicycle coordinator has created a barrier to the expenditure of these funds. The City's bicycle plan was last updated in 1975, before the Capital Crescent and MetBranch bike trails were begun, and before the advent of MetroRail. The plan should be updated. In addition, most of the $15 million is earmarked for completion of the MetBranch bicycle trail, which connects Takoma Park to Union Station; it should be completed.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor and Council should review the D.C. transportation plan and subsequent implementation plans and adjust funding priorities, ranking transportation projects according to their environmental benefits.

(2) DPW should take prompt action to implement the Plan's "Early Action Items," including:

(a) establishment of tour bus parking lots along lower South Capitol Street and at the Stadium-Armory Complex;

(b) initiation of trial service for a neighborhood bus service that uses smaller buses and provides for increased route flexibility (We recommend a U St./Adams Morgan Woodley Park route for trial.);

(c) completion of the bicycle routes identified in the Plan, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the Pennsylvania Avenue Cross-Town Route, etc. for which $8.5 million is authorized.

(3) DPW should re-establish the Office of Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator within the Intermodal Planning Office. Given that an 80% Federal funding match is available, it is imprudent not to reopen this office.

(4) DPW should develop plans to increase the total number of bicycle and pedestrian trips made in D.C.

Contact for more information: Ellen Jones, Washington Area Bicyclists Association.

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Promote Clean Transportation

Metro stations are sometimes hard to find because they are poorly marked. This makes the system inscrutable to tourists and newcomers, and reduces transit use. In order to promote metro use in D.C., signage should be improved for stations as well as ease of access for pedestrians and bicyclists to metro stations.

As a general matter, providing free parking benefits to employees represents bad policy because it subsidizes automobile use. This is a problem particularly with private sector and federal employees, as few D.C. employees enjoy free parking. The 1998 federal transportation authorization bill, TEA-21, offers "Community Choice" alternatives to "free" parking. Under Community Choice, "Metrochecks" can be offered to D.C. employees allowing employers to offer transit subsidies as a pre-tax payroll deduction. The D.C. government should take advantage of this federal support under TEA-2 I for mass transit.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) DPW and Metro should erect prominent directional signs within two or three blocks of all Metro stations.

(2) D.C.'s government agencies should act quickly to offer Metrocheck to D.C. government workers, and join Metro in promoting the program to private sector and tax-exempt employers. All D.C. government employees should in addition be offered subsidized transit passes as a low-cost way of enhancing their benefit packages and getting them out of their cars.

(3) The D.C. Bureau of Motor Vehicles should provide information at the time of motor vehicle license renewal and motor vehicle registration to D.C. residents informing them of the availability of the Commuter Choice tax benefits.

(4) The Mayor should encourage all city agencies to make bicycles available to D.C. government workers where appropriate for the performance of their official duties, as with parking enforcement, building inspectors, police patrols, etc. Bike parking, changing areas and showers should be provided for commuters arriving by bike or foot.

(5) The Council should enact legislation to provide tax and licensing incentives for highly energy-efficient and zero emissions vehicles.

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Restore MetroBus Service

A few years ago, MetroBus experienced major reductions in service in D.C. Twenty bus routes were eliminated and service reductions were made on 30 others. Currently, however, the D.C. Mass Transit Office is generating income in excess of expenses. Some restoration of bus service should be effected in the near term as a signal to D.C. residents that recovery of services is underway, that the City is committed to helping people at all economic strata, and that strong transit is essential to an economically healthy urban core.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor and Council should budget for the restoration of MetroBus service to under-served neighborhoods.

Contact for more information: Josh Silver, Metro Watch; Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth.

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Phase Out Diesel Buses

Tailpipe emissions from diesel buses are known to generate a significant amount of pollution in the form of fine particles. The level of dust and particulate matter in the air we breathe is regulated by EPA through the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (known as NAAQS), which are set at levels necessary to protect human health and welfare. Air that contains more pollution than specified by a NAAQS standard is considered unhealthful. When the air quality in a state does not comply with one or more of the NAAQS it is classified as a "nonattainment" area by EPA and must adopt stricter emissions controls on pollution sources.

Beginning in 2002, EPA will implement a new NAAQS that will regulate the amount of small particulate matter in the air. This new standard is known as "PM2.5" since it sets a new limit on particulate matter of 2.5 microns in size. Scientific evidence shows that these small particles are capable of carrying highly toxic, cancer-causing compounds deeply into the lungs. Initial monitoring by the National Park Service shows that D.C. currently has considerably more PM2.5 in its air than the EPA standard will allow. The D.C. Air Quality Division does not expect this situation to improve between now and 2002, and it is likely that D.C. will be declared a "nonattainment" area for PM-2.5.

A major portion of the PM-2.5 in D.C.'s air is traced to vehicle emissions since D.C. has few major stationary industrial sources of particulate pollution. While privately owned vehicles contribute significantly to diesel emissions, jurisdictions around the country are working to reduce the diesel pollution problem by switching their bus fleets from diesel to fuel alternatives, such as hydrogen fuel cells, electric, and compressed natural gas (CNG). Since diesel buses emit large quantities of ozone- promoting pollutants in addition to particulate pollution, clean fuel buses will also help D.C. comply with the NAAQS for ozone pollution, which it regularly exceeds.

While CNG buses currently cost about 20% more than diesel buses, the cost is offset quickly by lower fuel and maintenance costs. Washington Gas paid for a major portion of Montgomery County's CNG fueling station infrastructure and similar public-private partnerships are possible here in D.C. Most importantly, the new federal transportation bill, known as TEA-21, has a special grant program that provides up to $25 million annually to assist transit systems in the purchase of clean fuel buses and the associated infrastructure. D.C.'s DPW currently has a joint program with the Navy to convert 100-200 fleet vehicles to CNG.

Recommendations f or Action:

(1) The Mayor and Council should call upon Metro to begin conversion of the bus fleet to compressed natural gas or some other clean fuel alternative. Within 2 years, 50% of all new buses placed in service by Metro should be powered by clean fuels, and within four years, all new buses added to the Metro fleet should be clean fuel vehicles.

(2) The Council should enact legislation to phase out diesel buses and other diesel powered fleet vehicles, requiring that —

(a) within 2 years, 50% of any new buses and trucks purchased by the D.C. government be powered by clean fuels;

(b) within four years, all new buses and trucks added to D.C. agency fleets be clean fuel vehicles.

Contact for more information: Mark Wenzler, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Improve Energy Efficiency and Promote Renewable Energy

The quality of the air we breathe and the climate we depend upon is greatly influenced by the way we produce and use energy - whether it be from coal, oil, natural gas, or renewable sources such as solar, wind, and biomass. Using energy more efficiently can reduce the pollutants that come from motor vehicles and power plants and will save consumers money. Renewable energy has the advantage of protecting air quality while serving our current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. New technology is offering a wide set of options for communities that want to reduce the impacts of energy consumption and save money in the process. Much innovation is taking place at the local level, and with the right policies in place, D.C. residents, businesses, and government agencies can share in the benefits.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should enroll the D.C. Government in EPA's Energy Star Buildings Program and identify 3 D.C. Government structures for enrollment in the President's Million Solar Roofs Campaign. (Also noted under the "Green Government Initiative" in Section VI below.) In our area, Arlington County, CVS Corporation, Montgomery County, the Washington oil Times, and Providence Hospital, among others, are currently participating in Energy Star Buildings.

(2) The City Council should enact the 1998 supplement to the D.C. Construction Code, as recommended by DCRA. This action is needed to put in place the 1995 CABO Model Energy Code for new residential construction (which has already been adopted by Maryland and Virginia) and to update the energy standards for new commercial buildings.

(3) The D.C. Public Service Commission should require Pepco and any other potential marketers of electricity in the District to disclose on customers' electric bills the fuel source of the electric power sold in the City. Utilities should be required at least twice a year to itemize how much coal, nuclear, municipal solid waste incineration, natural gas, and renewable energy sources account for their electricity generation and bulk purchases. Information should also be provided on air and water emissions, nuclear and solid waste generation, and reliability. Much work has already been done in other jurisdictions to standardize the "green labeling" of electric power.

(4) The D.C. PSC should stop attempts by Pepco to terminate the ratepayer supported energy efficiency and low-income assistance programs. Utility customers in the District have long supported energy conservation programs, and insulated low-income households from high energy costs, but Pepco has proposed eliminating most of these programs.

(5) The Council should enact legislation requiring all new windows sold in the District to display labels developed by the National Fenestration Rating Council, informing consumers of the relative energy efficiency of their choices in new or replacement windows. Windows account for about 25% of the heating and cooling bills in a typical home, due to heat doss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. High performance windows are now commercially available that can dramatically cut this source of energy expense and pollution.

(6) The Council should enact legislation reducing the 6% D.C. sales tax on purchases of new home appliances and heating and cooling equipment carrying the ENERGY STAR label. Refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, room air conditioners and furnaces are all major energy users in the home, and the ENERGY STAR label developed by the EPA and the Department of Energy identifies models that are significantly more energy efficient than others on the market. Cutting the D. C. sales tax down to 1% or 2% for a limited time (e.g 2 years) for these high-dollar items could boost sales of white goods and heating/cooling equipment for District retailers while producing major energy and dollar savings for D. C. consumers.

(7) The Department of Public Works should begin the conversion of the City's traffic signals from incandescent lamps to light emitting diodes (LED). LED fixtures use far less energy and last I () times longer than incandescents, saving material and labor costs as well as energy. Prices for LED signals have dropped as much as 50% in recent years.

(8) The D.C. PSC should act now to eliminate barriers preventing the use of renewable energy systems. The PSC should ensure that citizens have the right to sell electricity generated by small scale renewable energy.

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Join the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign

More than 50 local jurisdictions in the US, including Denver, Memphis, Newark, and Atlanta, are now participating in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, sponsored by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives in Toronto, and supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Participating communities recognize that increasing energy efficiency and decreasing fossil fuel consumption is a cost-effective, common sense strategy for tackling a number of interconnected local issues. The District should be a part of this campaign and adopt a plan for emission reductions. The D.C. Public Service Commission has a key role to play in this area, and the Mayor and Council should be prepared to act if the commission fails to do so.

Recommendations for Action:

The Mayor should propose and the Council adopt a resolution initiating the District's participation in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign. The District would agree to prepare a local action plan describing the steps to be taken to reduct both greenhouse bas and conventional air pollution emissions. The plan would include —

(a) a greenhouse gas emissions analysis and forecast to determine the sources and quantity of the District's emissions;

(b) a carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions reduction target;

(c) the strategy for meeting the City's target, e.g., an outline of the programs and measures that will be implemented to achieve the target.

Contact for more information: Ed Osann, Potomac Resources, Inc.

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On the whole, Washington D.C. is a beautiful city of historic row-houses and tree-lined streets and parks. All too often, however, D.C. is viewed as a city of boarded up buildings and vacant lots waiting to be redeveloped instead of being seen as a city made up of neighborhoods in need of revitalization. This section makes recommendations for rebuilding D.C.'s neighborhoods and communities for long-term economic stability by protecting and restoring the city's urban environment.

During the past thirty years, D.C. experienced a devastating decline in its tax base as residents fled the city seeking better schools and services in heavily subsidized new developments in the sprawling suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. As more people abandoned the urban core the situation in the city only worsened and D.C. became an experiment in "urban renewal." The obliteration of large parts of historic southwest D.C., the abundance of downtown parking lots and the housing projects on the Anacostia stand as testament to past misguided notions of economic revitalization.

A closer look at why residents left the city reveals that they were seeking the very thing that the city has failed for too long to provide: a clean, safe, healthy environment. Residents want safe streets and good schools, but they also want clean streets, proper waste management, transportation choices, drinking water that is safe, and they want parks and natural, beautiful places too. In the past two years, the outpouring of public support for D.C.'s recycling program, the broad based citizen movement that formed to stop trash transfer stations and the increasing concern over the state of the Anacostia river have become testament to what revitalization means to the citizens of Washington D.C. Furthermore, the need to protect the health and beauty of D.C.'s environment for the city's huge hospitality and tourism industry cannot be understated.

The recommendations in this agenda are aimed at rebuilding neighborhoods and protecting D. Cl's urban environment. The redevelopment of brownfields, shifting the tax burden away from residents onto absentee property owners speculating on land values, the removal of billboard blight — these are all essential components in any plan to improve the environment and livability of the city's neighborhoods for the city's residents, new and old. This agenda also recommends that the federal government end its practice of strip-mining federal facilities from the nation's capital and moving jobs and residents to far- flung suburban jurisdictions around the country, a practice that has destabilized D.C.'s economy while promoting suburban sprawl wherever the federal facilities have moved.

Redevelop Brownfields

Experience in other states demonstrates that special incentives are needed to encourage redevelopment of "brownfield" sites, i.e., urban industrial and commercial facilities that are abandoned or underutilized, in part, due to environmental contamination or fear of contamination. Redevelopment of brownfield sites has the potential to revitalize distressed communities, increase tax revenue, and provide new jobs. Many other states provide a package of incentives to encourage property owners and prospective purchasers of brownfield properties to clean up and redevelop those sites. The most common incentives are protection from liability for contamination at the site, expedited review procedures for clean-up activities, technical assistance, tax credits or abatements grants. and low interest loans.

  1. Although the District took up the issue of brownfields redevelopment very late in the day, there is now in place a vision, a program, some Federal funding, and a team of government officials that are pursuing a vision with determination. With a $200,000 grant from EPA, the Environmental Health Administration has embarked on a program with many elements, including: (l) an inventory of brownfields sites in the city; (2) the development of remediation and development policy; (3) public outreach regarding the availability of Federal tax incentives; and (4) technical assistance. This is one of the bright spots in the City's environmental picture.

Congress enacted the Federal "Superfund" law in 1980, and virtually every state has subsequently followed suit. Such laws are necessary to any effort to compel responsible parties to remediate contaminated sites, and to fund government-led remediations where solvent responsible parties cannot be located. The District, however, has no such law. As a result, it is not in a strong position to support those who step forward with development and remediation plans, since it cannot offer them releases from legal liability. And where contaminated sites have been abandoned, there is little the City can do to compel private remediation or begin government cleanup efforts. Conversely, enactment of such a law here would create new opportunities for Federal funding and provide a needed tool for remediating many hazardous sites along the Anacostia and elsewhere while enhancing the redevelopment potential of the city's brownfield sites.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should support the new brownfields initiative. This may require supplementation of the one-person brownfields staff within EHA and/or supplementation of staff resources in the Office of Grants.

(2) The City Council should enact new Superfund-type legislation providing proactive measures to protect public health and environmental quality. The statute should contain a title addressing the remediation and development of brownfields.

Contact for more information: Brenda Richardson, Women Like Us.

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Mixed-Use and Transit-Oriented Development

A mix of residential, commercial and retail development is vital for the long-term economic vitality of the city. It is essential that the District government take the lead on ensuring that development in the city - particularly in economically depressed and downtown areas — is "mixed use," avoiding commercial corridors that are deserted at night and destined to be left vacant when the next economic recession comes around.

In its 1998 Emerging Trends report (an annual review of economic growth areas in the U.S.) the Real Estate Research Corporation stated that, "The best cities to invest in have attractive neighborhoods rooted in and around business districts and stressed that "strong residential is a must." The report points out that "grocery anchored neighborhood centers in infill locations will generate solid returns," and that "24-hour markets dominate [the market/," "combining strong residential fundamentals in their urban cores with multidimensional environments, convenient retailing, relative safely; and mass-transportation alternatives to the car."

A lack of integrated land use and transportation planning not only within the District's borders hut around the region has contributed significantly to the loss of residents from the city into surrounding jurisdictions. But there are huge amounts of severely underutilized land particularly near existing and planned Metro stops here in D.C. that should serve as focal points for new mixed-use economic revitalization efforts.

The residential and retail components of many recent development proposals in D.C. have been waived under the excuse that this kind of development is not economically feasible. 24-hour models of development are not only feasible but are in high demand, and they are the only way to ensure the long- term stability of the city.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should instruct the Zoning Commission to carefully review the city's mixed-use development requirements particularly in the downtown area, and to strictly enforce these rules when approving new proposals.

(2) The Council should make every effort to ensure that the requirements for residential and retail components are not waived when reviewing development proposals.

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Split the Property Tax Rate

The District's current property tax rate structure penalizes those who build or improve houses and businesses and rewards speculators who neglect or board up their buildings. This is because land and buildings are now taxed at the same rate: for example, homeowners are taxed at approximately $.96 per $100 of assessed value. The attempt to remedy the problem with the class 5 property tax rate has failed.

Pittsburgh and many other cities have shifted to a more progressive scheme that is designed to promote restoration, conservation, and use of existing property: the "split-rate" property tax. The concept is simple -- instead of taxing both land and buildings at the same rate, say $.96, the City would tax land at a higher rate, say $1.50, and buildings at a lower rate, say $.50. (The latest available rates for Pittsburgh are now $1.84 and $.32, respectively).

The effect of such a tax shift is to encourage maintenance, renovation and new construction while discouraging speculative hoarding of vacant lots or decaying housing. The former director of housing for Harrisburg, PA, has credited that city's split-rate tax with reducing the number of hoarded-up housing units from 1,800 in 1985 to less than 400 today.

The split-rate tax can be readily implemented without expensive government programs or regulations and will result in a tax break for most property owners, particularly in low and middle income neighborhoods, while encouraging home ownership.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should direct the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) and the Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals (BRPAA) to prepare for a split-rate property tax.

(a) OTR assessors and BRPAA staff should be trained in proper land assessment techniques. This should include training in the use of the multiple regression module of the District's CAMA system. The law presently requires market value assessment of both land and buildings.

(b) OTR and BRPAA need to establish procedures allowing property owners to appeal the apportionment of their assessment between land and building values.

(c) Whenever the next round of proposed assessment notices are mailed (and from that date forward) taxpayers should be notified that they may appeal the apportionment of their assessment between land and building values.

(d) OTR and BRPAA should promote understanding and awareness of the split-rate concept among ANCs, civic associations, etc. Similar information should also be provided to business groups.

(e) Summer / Fall 1999, the Mayor should propose a set of split-rate property tax rates to the Council for enactment. These rates would come effective at the first billing after property owners have had an opportunity to appeal their assessment apportionment.

(2) The Council of the District of Columbia should:

(a) Enact legislation authorizing taxpayer appeal of assessment apportionment between land and building values, unless this has already been accomplished by an executive order of the Mayor. Neither BRPAA nor the Courts allow these appeals at present because, under the present system assessment apportionment does not affect the total amount of taxes due..

(b) Provide budget support to OTR and BRPAA to cover initial training for assessors and assessment appeals staff. This cost for training will be recovered from new revenues that result from increased development activity.

(c) After the public has had an opportunity to appeal assessment apportionment, the Council should initiate a gradual reduction in property tax rates on building values and a gentle increase in tax rates on land values. The consultant to the D.C. Tax Revision Commission demonstrated that this can be accomplished without significant tax increases or decreases for the vast majority of property owners.

Contact for more information: Deborah Katz, Washington Regional Network.

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Encourage Location-Efficient Mortgages

Home ownership in the District is made more affordable (relative to home ownership in the outer suburbs) because the density of development, the availability of transit, and the potential for bicycling and walking make it unnecessary to own a car. For households that choose to own a car, one will often suffice.

This translates into a substantial increase in household disposable income. According to AAA, the average annual cost of owning and operating an automobile topped $67()0 in 1997. Research in Chicago and Los Angeles has found that people in denser neighborhoods with access to good transit service save $300-400 per month (around $4,000 annually) in transportation costs due to owning only one or no cars.

In 1996, a new mortgage product called the Location Efficient Mortgage® (LEM) was developed. The LEM modifies conventional underwriting by recognizing these savings, and can increase borrowing power in the range of $30,000–$70,000, in compact communities well-served by transit. For example, applying the $400 monthly savings to an annual household income of $45,000 allows a consumer to qualify for a home selling at $169,363 rather than $128,190 with a conventional mortgage.

In addition to increasing housing affordability, the LEM would also encourage more sustainable land use patterns, increase transit ridership, minimize air pollution, conserve open space, reduce demand for new road capacity, and aid in urban revitalization efforts. Likely LEM borrowers are low- and moderate-income people, especially first-time home buyers.

The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and several mortgage lenders have agreed to a pilot project in Chicago to lend home buyers up to $30,000 more for homes in location efficient neighborhoods. Fannie Mae will also back a pilot in Los Angeles at a 186-unit affordable housing development to be constructed at a transit station. The non-profit groups involved and Fannie Mae's Office of Housing Impact are looking to make LEM's available to more areas.

Recommendations for action:

(1) The Mayor should work to implement a LEM program in D.C.: The Mayor should work with the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the Council on Environmental Quality, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other housing finance agencies to address the mortgage needs of low and moderate income households in communities where it is reasonable to live with no or one car.

Contact for more information: Laura Kallus, Integrated Strategies Forum; Laura Olsen, Surface Transportation Policy Project

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Remove Illegal Billboards

Billboards are the most intrusive and offensive form of advertising, scarring the landscapes and public spaces of our communities with unwanted advertising. Unlike other forms of advertising billboards are 'in your face," you cannot turn the page or flip the channel - you have no choice but to look at them.

Billboards, or "off-premise" signs, which advertise products or places other than the name and business of the property on which they are erected, are heavily restricted under D.C. law. The problem is largely one of lack of enforcement of the existing sign code.

Targeting of minority and low-income communities by billboard operators and alcohol and tobacco companies is well established. (A Baltimore study found that 75% of billboards in the city were illegal and were in low-income and minority neighborhoods; 70% of the illegal billboards advertised alcohol and tobacco.) The result is urban blight in low-income neighborhoods unlike that found in more affluent neighborhoods. Compare Connecticut Avenue with Kennedy Street and the problem is evident: the law is not being enforced in D. C. 's poorer communities.

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Enforce the Sign Code

Oversize store signs, storefronts plastered with signs and excessive neon lighting are common sights around D.C., contributing to urban blight in the same way that abandoned buildings and broken windows do. The problem with "on-premise" signs in D.C. is just like that of billboards: there is an abundance of illegal signs that do not adhere to the sign code because of a lack of enforcement. Over the years it has become harder and harder for citizens to get the law enforced: in Adams Morgan, an illegal sign of naked women over the bar Heaven, took many months of constant complaints, despite the Councilmember's concern and involvement, before the sign was removed.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) DCRA should enforce the D.C. Sign Code. Allocate funding to increase the number of DCRA inspectors and to ensure aggressive issuance and collection of fines. Proper enforcement of the sign code is potentially a revenue-raiser for the City in the same way that parking fines are: the "polluter pays. '

(2) Ensure that Sign Code Inspectors and Alcoholic Beverage Control inspectors collaborate on citing problematic liquor stores, bars, and convenience stores that continue to violate the law.

(3) Computerize all sign permit information using GIS or other programs available to allow for efficient enforcement.

Contact for more information: Greg Kidd, Scenic America.

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Remove Graffiti

Graffiti is often ignored in D.C. Yet the adverse effect of urban blight on the economic health and security of a city is indisputable. Cities like New York have taken aggressive steps to combat graffiti as part of an overall crime prevention program.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should instruct the police to increase enforcement of graffiti laws.

(2) The Mayor should assign responsibility for graffiti removal to one agency and a public "graffiti hotline" should be made available and widely advertised.

(3) The Mayor should instruct the responsible agency to use environmentally safe products for graffiti removal when possible.

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Rebuild Federal Employment in the Nation's Capital

Residents of the Washington Metropolitan Area are becoming increasingly concerned about the region's rapidly expanding, low-density sprawl development and its heavy economic, environmental, and social costs. As reckless as sprawl development is, it is not random. It results from Federal, state, and local policy decisions that encourage and subsidize this type of development.

The problem is particularly acute in D.C. because the city has long been dependent on Federal facilities and those facilities are increasingly moving out to the surrounding jurisdictions. The District of Columbia is losing residents, jobs, and tax revenue as a result. In recent years, GSA moved the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the FBI fingerprinting facilities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and part of the FDA, to name but a few Federal offices, out of the District.

The District of Columbia lost 7,000 jobs from 1997 to 1998. Most of these were District and Federal government positions, with the District losing a disproportionate amount of regional Federal jobs, particularly during Federal downsizing. In February 1998, unemployment in D.C. stood at 9.3%, compared to an average unemployment rate of 3% in Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

The Federal government already occupies twice as much office space in the suburbs as it does in the District. As the numerous advertisements in the Washington Post for office space in the suburbs show, the District will continue to lose Federal jobs and residents to Maryland and Virginia unless the City starts to take an aggressive stance on recruiting and retaining Federal facilities. Alarmingly, these ads show that the GSA's intent is exactly opposite that of Presidential Executive Orders 12072 and 13006, as GSA is specifically seeking to locate several facilities in as yet undeveloped parts of Virginia and Maryland, encouraging sprawl development and urban flight. This is despite the abundance of excellent locations for Federal facilities in the District, including the Southeast Federal Center.

The Council of the District of Columbia passed resolution PR 12-1194, in December 1998, calling on the Mayor to take action to stop the flow of federal facilities from the District of Columbia.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should establish a D.C. Task Force on Federal Facilities to actively recruit and retain Federal facilities and restore the District's share of the region's Federal employment to 60%. The Task Force should —

(a) Engage the Mayor in marketing available D.C. sites to the General Services Administration and Federal agencies;

(b) Establish a partnership with private business in D.C. to encourage Federal facility retention and D.C.-based Federal procurement.

(c) Inventory all available US Government owned, D.C. government owned, and privately owned parcels of land and properties in D.C. that could satisfy ongoing RFP's for Federal facilities. Build a database of available properties, rank their benefits (e.g. close to metro, space available, zoning class, etc.) to prepare the D.C. government in advance for Federal facility RFP's.

(d) Plan for "livable communities" centered around Federal facilities with a mix of commercial and residential properties and re-investment in local schools.

(2) The Mayor should work with Congress to adopt a resolution calling for a full economic impact assessment before any Federal facility is removed from an urban area (similar to a proposal made by the D.C. Appleseed Center).

(3) The Mayor should forge alliances with inner suburban officials and Members of Congress to retain existing Federal jobs inside the Beltway.

(4) The Mayor should aggressively promote the Southeast Federal Center as a location for additional Federal facilities.

Contact for more information: Danilo Pelletiere, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter; Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth.

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Fully Investigate the New Convention Center

The new convention center is being constructed just north of Mount Vernon Square in an historic, residential neighborhood lacking multi-modal transportation access. While other more economically and environmentally preferable sites exist in the District for such a major development it appears that the new center will be built at the Mount Vernon site.

Recommendations for Action:

The convention center poses the following challenges for the new Mayor and Council:

(l) The Mayor and Council should review the criteria for siting development proposals of this scope in D.C. to prevent future developments from being situated where poor transportation and product delivery options exist.

(2) The Mayor should call for an investigation to determine if the 1994 D.C. hospitality tax law has been violated in order to fund the new convention center. This law forbids the collection and expenditure of a hospitality tax on restaurants, hotels etc., until the contractors of the new development for which the tax is being proposed, have submitted a fixed price contract to the city. To date it appears that no such price has been submitted. Citizens should not have to resolve such a critical issue in court.

(3) The Council should hold oversight hearings on the application of the D.C. Energy Efficiency Act of 1994, which was not implemented properly when construction of the new convention center was approved.

Contact for more information: Jenefer Ellingston, D.C. Green Party.

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Restoring and maintaining environmental quality in D.C. will take more than good intentions, tough standards and dedicated public employees. The job ahead will require new tools to help get the job done. Some of these new tools are necessary for the improvement of services citywide -- streamlined procurement, an improved financial management system, more accountable managers, and new public- private partnerships -- and thus are needed in common by all D.C. agencies. But environmental protection will be further advanced by the implementation of several cross-cutting measures to help the District tackle its environmental responsibilities with greater efficiency.

Implement the District of Columbia Environmental Policy Act

The District of Columbia Environmental Policy Act (DCEPA), modeled after the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), requires all District agencies to analyze and disclose the environmental effects of their major actions, including permitting actions. Although the City Council enacted DCEPA in 1989, it has never been fully implemented. Final implementing regulations were not published until May, 1997.

With a new administration that is committed to environmental protection, the time has come to implement DCEPA and be sure that District citizens know about, and can participate in, the decisions that affect their communities.

Although DCEPA is modeled after NEPA in most respects, the District's implementing regulations include a mechanism under which most applicants can easily bypass any meaningful environmental review. DCEPA calls for Environmental Impact Statements only where proposed projects are likely to have substantial negative impact on the environment. To determine whether a particular project meets this threshold, the current regulations require project applicants to fill out a simple checklist called an "Environmental Impact Screening Form" rather than NEPA's narrative "Environmental Assessment." DCEPA's screening form contains yes/no questions, and requires absolutely no documentation or narrative analysis.

This significant departure from the Federal model is one of the root causes for the lack of DCEPA implementation. With the screening form, neither District agencies nor the public can evaluate the project applicant's conclusions, which usually assert that the project will have no significant environmental effects. There can be no meaningful opportunity for public oversight when project applicants are left to determine if their projects are environmentally harmful.

Recommendations for Action:

The District should either repromulgate its regulations or the Council should amend the statute to require narrative and well-supported Environmental Assessments.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter; Jeff Nelson, Institute for Public Representation.

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Launch the Green Government Initiative

In corporations and governments across the country, a "green revolution" is underway. Managers at all levels have incorporated sustainability into building construction and management practices, procurement policies, and office practices. Thus, hundreds of governments now:

  • buy recycled products such as copy paper, concrete, motor oil, paints, and carpet;
  • specify energy-efficiency criteria when procuring capital equipment such as copiers, lighting systems, and computers;
  • replace inefficient plumbing with new water-efficient toilets and showerheads;
  • use non-toxic cleaners, paints, pesticides, and other chemicals;
  • fuel fleet vehicles with low-pollution fuels such as compressed natural gas.
  • provide municipal workers with bicycles particularly for divisions such as parking enforcement, building inspections and police.

Years of experience have shown that these practices save money and promote a healthy working environment for employees (thus reducing illness-related absence), not to mention contribute to a healthy planet. For example, an energy-efficiency project at the U.S. Soldiers and Airmen's Home improved lighting system efficiency by 43% and reduced lighting operating costs by 63%.

Washington is at the center of the green revolution. The U.S. Federal Environmental Executive, the General Services Administration, the Department of Energy, George Washington University, the U.S. Green Building Council, and many others here in the city are among the leaders in this field, and could readily assist the D.C. government in "going green." For example, the head of GSA's Public Building Service has offered to provide managers of D.C. government buildings with free training in sustainable office management methods. Unfortunately, the D.C. government remains far behind the curve. Despite statutory mandates, we neither recycle office paper nor purchase recycled products. Pesticides are regulated (and undoubtedly purchased) without consideration of use reduction or non-toxic alternatives. The list goes on and on. It is time for our government to catch up with the rest of the country.

Recommendations for Action:

(1) The Mayor should develop and implement a Green Government Initiative. The D.C. Government should adopt a general policy on sustainable operations that would contain, at a minimum, the following elements:

(a) Pollution prevention, source reduction, and recycling policy. This should include office paper recycling, waste minimization, and double-sided copying policies.

(b) Environmental Procurement Policy. This policy should address energy efficiency, recycled content, and non-toxicity. All new passenger vehicles should be selected from models that are among the most energy-efficient in their vehicle class.

(c) Green Building Management. D.C. Government facilities would shift to high efficiency lighting and plumbing, and non-toxic chemical use would be required. D.C. would join EPA's Energy Star Buildings program, to help identify and implement cost-effective opportunities to reduce energy consumption. (The Mayor should also ensure that the new convention center is built with renewable energy systems as required by D.C. law.)

(d) Support for non-automotive commuting. Such a policy would include adoption of WMATA's "Metrocheck" program for D.C. public employees (summarized elsewhere in this Agenda under "Transportation"), installation of bike parking facilities, permission for entry of bicycles into offices (space permitting), and installation of changing and showering rooms.

(e) Formation of a Green Team to develop and oversee implementation of the Green Government Initiative. This would include one representative from each government agency, with leadership from the Executive Office of the Mayor.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Raise Money and Pride for D.C.'s Anacostia River: Offer an Environmental License Plate and an Income Tax Check-Off

Commemorative Plate

A review of the Maryland Chesapeake Bay license plate program provides insight on how to implement one in D.C. In 1985, the Maryland General Assembly established the Chesapeake Bay Trust as a grant- making body to support efforts to clean up and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Establishment of this public trust was critical to the state's later efforts to raise funds for Bay restoration.

In 1991, the General Assembly established a commemorative license plate for the Chesapeake Bay, which has been the only commemorative plate since that time.

The original fee system was established so that the cost of the plate was equally divided between the Trust and the Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After 1994, when the DMV's initial expenses for establishing a new plate had been fully recovered, more money was sent to the Trust. Since 1991, the sale of 750,000 Bay plates has raised $8 million for the Bay Trust.

The success of the Commemorative plate program for the Bay Trust is in large part due to their status as a grant-making body that distributes funds broadly to non-profits, the Department of Natural Resources, municipalities, and government agencies. There is a broad range of support to keep the Bay plate going.

D.C. is potentially ripe for a commemorative plate because of the high turnover of residents here. The participation rate could be higher than Maryland's 10%.

Income Tax Check-off

In 1989, the MD General Assembly passed a bill allowing an environmental check-off on income tax forms. About 2.2% of people filing returns use the check off — that's a good figure on a national scale. The average donation is $14. The total return in 1994 amounted to $1 million.

Half of the money goes to wildlife heritage at the Department of Natural Resources. The other half goes to the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

In 1995, a second income tax check-off was added. This second check-off raised $60,000 in its first year, the amount by which the environmental check-off dropped that same year. Since then, the same amount of money is being spread thinly over a number of new check-offs and this becomes a less effective method for raising money, so it is important to limit the overall number, or to alternate them.

Recommendations for Action:

(l) Establish an environmental trust, e.g. the "Anacostia Trust," as a grant-making body.

(2) Establish a single Commemorative license plate, eg. "Treasure the Anacostia," with the full cooperation of DMV.

(3) Establish a D.C. income tax-check-off, eg. for the Anacostia, provided that the total number of check-offs will be limited.

Contact for more information: Anna El-Eini, Friends of the Earth; Larry Bohlen, Friends of the Earth.

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Establish an Environmental Agency for the District of Columbia

The District faces a set of environmental concerns that are essentially similar to those faced by other states, and even the Federal government. These include ( 1 ) health threats caused by pollution (2) natural resources (parks, rivers, and wildlife) that are jeopardized by neglect and external threats and (3) environmental injustice - a large proportion of environmentally harmful projects are located in minority and low-income communities. As the magnitude and complexity of environmental threats have grown, the Federal government and — to our knowledge — all of the 50 states have responded by creating a separate agency with exclusive responsibility for protecting the environment.

For example, in 1970 the Federal government transferred the environmental regulatory programs of the then-Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the newly-created Environmental Protection Agency. While much of EPA's mission is aimed at human health protection, the agency has also assumed a broader role of advocate for the environment. Virtually all would agree that having such an advocate has served the Federal government well.

Over the past two decades the District's environmental programs have been reorganized in various ways. They are now divided among the Department of Public Works, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Department of Health. Wherever D.C.'s environmental programs have been located, they have been the government's stepchildren. This remains largely the case today. Approximately five years ago, Council Member Harry Thomas introduced legislation that sought to consolidate these functions and thereby bring more focus to the environmental needs of the city. Unfortunately, the legislation was defeated in committee on grounds unrelated to its merits.

The establishment of a city-wide environmental agency would take much advance planning and preparation. However, doing so would:

  • Strengthen existing environmental programs by placing them under a department head whose mandate is primarily environmental;
  • Strengthen environmental leadership within the government by giving cabinet status to the environmental agency;
  • Provide a high-level liaison with both the EPA and the Department of the Interior, thereby improving the City's ability to attract Federal program funding;
  • Improve regional intergovernmental relations on environmental matters, such as Chesapeake Bay programs, air quality planning, and other transboundary pollution, such as polluted runoff into the upper Anacostia watershed;
  • Create one stop shopping for all environmental programs (i.e., air and water quality, hazardous wastes, radon, lead, asbestos, conservation such as water and energy, protection of the natural habitat such as fish, wildlife, urban forests, and parks (other than units of the National Park System).

Recommendations for Action:

(1) For the short term, an executive position should be created within the Office of the Mayor to serve as an environmental advisor, coordinator, and ombudsman. In addition to coordinating key environmental activities that cut across the jurisdictions of individual D.C. government agencies or involve work with agencies outside the D.C. government, this position should also begin to staff a longer- term restructuring proposal (below).

(2) The City should create a Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. Its responsibilities should include environmental regulatory functions assigned to the Environmental Health Administration within the Department of Health. The new agency should also include an office of Environmental Justice, administer the City's park and recreation system, and take responsibility for tree planting and maintenance.

Contact for more information: Jim Dougherty, Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter.

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Anacostia Watershed Society
Jim Connoly
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Phone: 301 -513-0316
Fax 202- 513-9321
E: jim@anacostiaws.org

Anacostia Watershed Society
Robert Boone
4302 Baltimore Ave.
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Phone: 301-699-6204
Fax: 301-669-6204
E: aws3@his.com

Clean Water Action
Paul Schwartz
4455 Conn. Ave. NW, Ste. A-300
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-895-0420
Fax: 202-895-0438
E: pschwartz@cleanwater.org

Coalition for Smarter Growth
Stewart Schwartz
1415 Oronoce St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-683-5704
Fax: 703-683-4530
E: jsschwartz@aol.com

Coalition on Environmental Justice
Fran Dubrowski
1320 19th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-667-5795
Fax: 202-667-2302
E: dubrowski@aol.com

Committee of 100
Greg Rhett
4010 Lane Place, NE
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: 202-388-1537
E: jrhett3009@aol.com

D.C. Appleseed Center
Josh Wyner
733 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-393-1158
Fax: 202-393-1495
E: dcapple@ziplink.net

D.C. Green Party
Jenefer Ellingston
641 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-546-0940
Fax: 202-546-0431
E: jellingston@erols.com

Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
Howard Fox
1625 Mass. Ave. NW # 702
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-667-4500
Fax: 202-667-2356
E: hfox@earthjustice.org

Environmental Defense Fund
Michael Replogle
1875 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-387-3500
Fax: 202-234-6049
E: michaelr@edf.org

Environmental Law Institute
Suellen Keiner
1616 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-939-3800
Fax: 202-939-3868
E: keiner@eli.org

Friends of the Earth
Anna El-Eini, DC Coordinator
1025 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-879-3183
Fax: 202-783-0444
E: eleini@foe.org

Friends of the Earth,
Larry Bohlen, Director -
Health and Environment
1025 Vermont Ave. NW #300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-783-7400
Fax: 301 -445-1548
E: lbohlen@foe.org

Georgetown Waterfront Commission
Anne Satterthwaite
1615 34th St., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-342-0203
E: asatt@aol.com

Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Neil Seldman
2425 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-232-4108
Fax: 202-332-0463
E: ilsr@igc.org

Institute for Public Representation
Jeff Nelson
600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-662-9536
Fax: 202-662-9634
E: nelsonj3@law.georgetown.edu

Integrated Strategies Forum
Laura Kallus
1612 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-872-5329
Fax: 202-331 -8166
E: lkallus@igc.org

Metro Watch
Josh Silver
2219 California St. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-628-8866
Fax: 202-628-9800
E: jsilver@essential.org

Natural Resources Defense Council
Erik Olson
1200 N.Y. Ave., NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 289-2360
Fax: 202-289-1060
E: eolson@nrdc.org

People's Alliance for Rock Creek
Rick Morgan
733 15th St., NW Suite 1030
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-364-3663
E: Dogfood@compuserve.com

Pitchford and Associates
Keith Pitchford
2213 40th Place NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-333-3851
E: kpenvironment@mindspring.com

Potomac Resources, Inc.
Ed Osann
5475 31st St. NW
Washington, DC 20015
Phone: 202-429-8873
Fax: 202 429-2248
E: eosann@tribeca.ios.com

Scenic America
Greg Kidd
801 Penn. Ave. SE, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-543-6200
Fax: 202-543-9130
E: kidd@scenic.org

Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter
Mark Wenzler, Clean Bus Campaign
1717 Mass Ave NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-797-8600
Fax: 202-232-7203
E: mwenzler@tlpj.org

Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter
Gwyn Jones, Conservation Chair
709 3rd St., SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: 202-488-0505
Fax: 202-484-1789
E: gwynjones@aol.com

Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter
Brenda Moorman, Chair
1416 33rd St., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-333-5424
Fax: 202-9653769
E: brmoorman@aol.com

Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter
Danilo Pelletiere, Restore the Core Campaign
1016 A Constitution Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-6224
Phone: 703-689-3054
Fax: 703 689-3041
E: dpelleti@osfl.gmu.edu

Sierra Club New Columbia Chapter
Jim Dougherty, Legal Chair
709 3rd St. SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: 202488-1140
Fax: 202-484-1789
E: jim.dougherty@sierraclub.org

Laura Olsen
1100 17th Street, NW 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-466-2636
Fax: 202-466-2247
E: lolsen@transact.org

Sustainable Communities Initiative
Jim Schulman
631 E. Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-547- 1079
Fax: 202-547-1079
E: jschulma@capaccess.org

Ward 8 Coalition
Eugene DeWitt Kinlow
3952 2nd Stret, SW
Washington, DC, 20032
Phone: 202-736-0415
E: Ekinlow@FDIC.gov

Washington Area Bicyclist Assn.
Ellen Jones
733 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-628-2500
Fax: 202-628-2500
E: wqaba@waba.org

Washington Regional Network
Deborah Katz
1777 Church Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-667-5445
Fax: 202-667-4491
E: debkatz@megsinet.net

Women Like Us
Brenda Richardson
3008 24th Place, SE
Washington, DC, 20020
Phone: 202-678-1978
Fax: 202-678-6351

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