WESM

VIRGINIA POLLUTION REDUCTION PLAN MEETS SKEPTICISM

Richmond, VA – Environmentalists don't like it, but Virginia is hoping an exchange program will help reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The state is planning to allow sewage plants and industrial sources to buy, sell and trade water pollution credits in a program that will take effect January 1st. The experimental program is one of several initiatives that was signed into law last month to combat the flow of excessive nutrients polluting the bay. The damaging nutrients come from storm runoff carrying fertilizer and animal waste. Supporters of the water credit approach say it should save about 20 percent of the estimated cost to reduce nutrients discharged by 120 major sewage plants and industrial facilities influenced the bay in Virginia. But some environmentalists are upset about the plan. Virginia Sierra Club director Mike Town says he's philosophically opposed to pollution trading of any kind.