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Who will (and won't) pay for their water-polluting lots

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/28/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Clean water

In late 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and re-instated its Stormwater Management Program. NEORSD will soon start charging fees to property owners based on how much hard or paved surface they build. Stormwater can make pollution and damage from water flooding off pavement and rooftops into rivers, streams and Lake Erie worse. The Court...

A city unto itself<br />SouthPark Mall in Strongsville will get a free pass on thousands in stormwater fees (that other mall owners would surely covet).<br />Arcelor Mittal will pay one of the largest stormwater fees in Northeast Ohio unless it brings in a green infrastructure solution.<br />Eaton Corporation will pay $6,000 more per quarter than its former headquarters for stormwater running off its new campus.Tip of the iceberg<br />The Cleveland Clinic will pay tens of thousands of dollars for its stormwater runoff unless it stops building so much parking and starts aggressively pursuing green infrastructure. Here is the south east corner of the Clinic main campus.<br />When Severance Town Center comes out of receivership perhaps its new owners can figure out how to reduce their $10,000 a quarter stormwater fee with a green town center.<br />RTA will pay thousands in stormwater fees for its E 55 rail yard.
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Ohio forsakes progress on clean air and water

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/29/15 @ 2:45pm  |  Posted in Clean energy, Clean air, Clean water

In Ohio, the news lately is filled with stories that pit industry against the environment. But the storylines, and the accounting of costs, are often more complicated. Take, for example, the New York Times story last Friday on “The Connection Between Cleaner Air and Longer Lives." Economics professor and head of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, Michael...

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Sprawl's hidden cost to Cleveland, a costly river clean up

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/23/15 @ 1:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices, Clean water, Connecting to nature

Imagine instead of retiring to a golf community, you had the choice of a small house in a beautiful park located on a reforested lot in Cleveland. Or in a community on a sustainable farm in the Cuyahoga Valley surrounded by forest on all sides. Is it a utopian dream? Or the new American dream?

<br />Soil being dredged from the Cuyahoga RiverConservation development<br />Two developments in Hiram preserve the woods by clustering the homes and placing a conservation easement on the land<br />The carbon intensity of Northeast Ohio (red equals more carbon emissions per household).

Chad Pegracke's just a kid from the Midwest with a big idea

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/05/14 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Clean water

What’s inspiring about the Chad Pegracke story is how a young man who grew up with the Mississippi River literally at his door step could see the giant cesspool the river had become not as a limiting force. Somehow, it didn’t make him want to give up and throw another 55-gallon drum, fridge, TV or sofa in like everyone else.

The Gatherer<br />Chad Pegracke has led a volunteer movement that has removed millions of pounds of trash from the Mississippi River.

Lake Erie's water crisis, then and now

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/22/14 @ 11:15am  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

The Toledo water crisis may have fallen off the front page of the news, but not before a prime suspect was identified. The deadly toxin that shut off the tap for 500,000 people in August comes from algae in Lake Erie fed by fertilizer running off of big, conventional farms in Northern Ohio.

The mouth of the Cuyahoga<br />Modern environmental regulations have greatly reduced industrial pollution, but we are still a long way from healthy and sustainable water resources.Lake Erie today<br />The eastern basin of Lake Erie, at Mentor Headlands.

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