As readers of this space know, I have been mystified by the opposition in Massachusetts to obtaining delegation of the NPDES Program. In my temperate way, I have called it an embarrassment.
I have just learned that Idaho was recently delegated authority to operate the NPDES program. Now, only Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New Hampshire remain undelegated.
The Boston Globe said that the current arrangement has worked. Someone apparently failed to tell the Globe editorial staff that, for permits of any complexity, delays of more than 10 years happen routinely. It’s a new maxim – If it’s broke, don’t fix it.
It saddens me that environmental groups oppose delegation. It annoys me that they gave Governor Baker an F grade for supporting delegation. It’s not just that they are wrong; it’s that their opposition indicates that they remain stuck in the past, unable to overcome the historic stereotype of state regulators as being in the pocket of bad-guy polluters.
It’s not where we should be in 2018.