Workers break through a 1,000-foot tunnel being built to carry Purple Line trains beneath a Silver Spring neighborhood in February 2019. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

In the July 15 news article “Trump plans to revise environmental law to hasten construction projects,” Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, cited the Purple Line’s five years of environmental review as a warning of overregulation and as his shining star of what “speedy” development could be.

Mr. Durbin expressed his “concern” in a vague throwaway mention of the word “carbon.” But as one who has watched the Purple Line’s destruction of countless enormous, old-growth trees in front of Silver Spring International School to make way for a parking lot and the destruction of entire neighborhoods in Silver Spring “for their own good,” I can say five years of study followed by litigation was way too short a time.

Mr. Durbin is not alone in his hypocrisy, whatever this administration’s political leanings.

Basically anyone who doesn’t actually live in the line of the destruction that has wreaked havoc on our neighborhood is also complicit.

We have suffered the destruction of huge swaths of Silver Spring, from the Giant on Arliss Street and the tunneling through entire expanses of our neighborhood. On the way are the demolition of homes and small, individually owned and largely ethnic businesses and the livelihoods they support on 16th Street and beyond. They never will return. (And this is just the Silver Spring section.) This project could have used an entirely thorough social impact study in addition to the environmental impact study so that this useless albatross of a construction project that lines developers’ pockets would have never been given the go-ahead to begin with.

Michael Josephs, Silver Spring 

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