Retro Environment

It’s not a movement to protect environmental resources or reverse climate change. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The State’s environmental commission sent draft rules to public comment to consolidate protections for streamside forest that include the use of retroactive credits. With a little digging, you can see why it’s a bad idea.

Retroactive crediting is a term the State is using to describe older practices put in the ground for one purpose to be used for a different purpose. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t provide the net benefit needed in the environment and it should be discouraged.

The main reason that this is a bad idea is that buffer impacts were not regulated or mitigated prior to the existence of buffer protection rules. Without accounting for the loss of streamside forest on pre-buffer rule impacts, there is no understanding if pre-rule projects have accounted for those impacts.

Another big reason for not allowing retroactive credits is that the lakes and reservoirs that these rules were meant to protect are perennially impaired.  More effort is needed to help restore uses to these water bodies, not less.

Should projects completed in 2006 built up 18 years ago be allowed to claim credit on things that were not regulated at the time? EEP thinks so and lobbied the legislature to change the state’s rules. They stand to gain extra funding at the expense of actually doing any work to improve the environment.

Retroactive credits result in environmental losses and shouldn’t be allowed.

For those interested, comments are being accepted on the draft rules through April 17th, 2015.  Check on the DWR website to learn more.

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