As I wrote a few days ago, I was stunned by Ross Anderson's assertion that we don't know how to clean-up Puget Sound pollution. Unfortunately I also found the author's response to be insufficient and not much of an answer for such a large assertion.
Not having much science or engineering background myself (but having been around real estate development in many capacities for decades) I asked an Olympia, Washington engineer to offer an opinion. This engineer's answer was simple:
Ross Anderson is wrong.
He is confusing solutions (simple) with implementation (difficult).
Now I can't vouch for this engineer's expertise though from what I know the opinion is worth careful consideration. And it clearly is sufficient to raise a doubt and I'd urge Crosscut to take the opportunity to bring in some science/engineering types and set the matter straight, or at least illuminate the dispute if there is one. Ross Anderson's statement can be misused by people who are denialists and seek to stymie useful action.
Just FYI, I have become personally interested in this issue of "Low Impact Development" (LID) due to a project of my own and where due to my own engineer's suggestion I am learning a bit about it. At first blush LID seems likely to be cost-effective — and I mean both: not terribly costly (in fact LID might save a tad) and also effective at the specific task (which in my case is water quality.) But I am cautious when it comes to new things so more later as the project proceeds and I learn more about real costs and benefits.