With the state of Tennessee requiring a heavy increase in fees to assure good water quality despite difficulties from heavy stormwater runoff, a great many local businesses and property owners are facing some severe cost problems. But fortunately, there will be no adverse effect upon our new local Volkswagen plant that is under construction to produce cars and hire about 2,000 local employees.
It is customary and appropriate for various concessions to be provided to help enable prospective new employers to establish their operations here. And Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said that Volkswagen was "a very special case." That resulted in VW's being exempted from costly stormwater runoff fees among the reasonable concessions given VW to locate its new assembly plan in Chattanooga.
No one, of course, wants any adverse consequences of water pollution from rain and other drainage into local streams. But the rising costs of runoff fees, and the important fact that Volkswagen will not be adversely affected, should alert us all to the continuing problem, its costs and the potential effects upon our entire economy and water quality.