Sunday, April 18, 2010

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. Zionsville, Indiana celebrated with a small festival/awareness campaign at the Zionsville town hall. The kids got to learn about snapping turtles, owls, cicada killers (quite a nasty insect) and how water cycles throughout nature.

Mom and dad were treated to information on how terrible phosphorus is for the water supply, how Zionsville may vote to hold ourselves responsible for the quality of our water runoff (good luck with that), the fact that we live in the Eagle Creek water shed, that six in 10 streams in Indiana have dangerous levels of mercury (whooda thunk? Note to self: stay out of streams) and how a geothermal HVAC system can save you money (in the loooong run). As the kids travelled from booth to booth, they earned tickets to redeem for facepainting. Clearly, the most rewarding part of the day.


Anonymous said...

FYI: your friends in the federal government (EPA) are very interested in the quality of the water that runs off of your yard into the gutter and thence into the streams. Once the Feds are interested, they have very persuasive means of making you local town council interested too.


Doug H. said...

I believe that. But how do you measure it? We live at the base of the Eagle Creek water shed. How much of the chemicals come from upstream vs what runs off in Zionsville?

Anonymous said...

Actually the Feds don't much care where the pollution comes from. As I recall it's called a "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" permit, or NPDES for short. It is designed to regulate pollution that has no single or discrete source (sand or salt spread on city streets in the winter v a factory pipe discharging into a river). In CSC we were required to regulate grass clippings, for example. Can't let grass clippings land in the gutter and be washed into the streams; that's pollution. Fail to sweep up the clippings and you risk a city fine. If we don't regulate this non-point source pollution, a condition of the EPA issued permit, the Feds fine the city. Think of it as a legal version of the business in that old movie, "The God Father."

It's another cost of federal regulation. An economist might mumble on about internal v external costs. I don't think anyone ever does a business like cost-benefit analysis.