01 February 2007

Will the State Scrap Its Citizen Advisory Boards?

Consolidating the state water control, air quality, and waste management boards and handing their decision-making powers over to DEQ may make getting permits easier, but it sure won't help the environment. (Times-Dispatch)

Advisory boards are a primary way for citizens to participate in the regulatory process on natural resource issues. DEQ, as a number-crunching organization, may be able to tell you whether a particular construction will have some detrimental effect on the surrounding environment, but DEQ does not always know what's best for a community as a whole. Moreover, and DEQ staffers are not elected to their positions--which means they have no reason to care what a particular community wants and or needs. All they will need to know is whether a plant or farm or special use variation meets their guidelines. In such a system, there would be no balance between what a developer/industry deems possible to do and what the region receiving that development/industry wants done.

This seems to me an excellent plan for short-circuiting any public input in and control over basic natural resource distribution and quality, if that's your goal. It seems that that is Landes's goal.

1 comment:

Kempis said...

The longer I live in Virginia the more it seems that Government, and those in it, are dedicated to marginalizing the impact of citizen participation.