By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
MINNEAPOLIS — For years, car washes have been a fundraising staple for high school sports teams, marching bands and youth groups.
Just get some kids together with buckets and soap, rent out a parking lot, put up a sign and hope it doesn’t rain.
But in Arlington, Va., you also have to hope the government doesn’t catch you.
Charity car washes and car wash fundraisers are now banned there, after the city’s Department of Environmental Services issued new rules for stormwater and water runoff.
The county pins the blame on the Virginia General Assembly, which approved more stringent water regulations last year.
Those important reasons: washing cars can cause chlorinated water and soap to wash into local streams, which flow into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
But Whalen found a silver lining in the new regulations.
“There are educational and environmental benefits that come with finding new and environmentally friendly ways to raise money for extracurricular activities,” she said.
Yes, indeed. One of those educational benefits: high school kids get a first-hand civics lesson in how government shuts down just about any activity it doesn’t like. Try finding that lesson in any textbook.
Coaches told the Arlington News they’re concerned about how the ban will affect sports and other activities. After all, the market can only handle so many bake sales.
The new stormwater regulations in Virginia have consequences beyond Arlington.
By the letter of the law approved in July 2013, all car washes that aren’t for personal use require a permit from the state government, even charity car washes held on private property.
For their concern about the environment, Virginia’s lawmakers and Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services win our Nanny of the Week award this week.
Their prize is a lifetime of dirty cars with “Wash me — even if the government doesn’t allow it” scrawled across the back windows.
Boehm can be reached at EBoehm@Watchdog.org and follow @WatchdogOrg and @EricBoehm87 on Twitter for more.
- Nanny-state state of the week: MD may become first to ban Vaportinis
- Nanny-state city of the week: Minneapolis wants to ban take-out trays
- Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares
- Nanny state of the week: Fairfax, VA, wants to limit the right to assemble
- Nanny state of the week: SC — and Schumer — for duplicative efforts to ban powdered alcohol
- Nanny of the Week: Virginia hoses down car wash fundraisers
- Nanny of the Week: Even a summertime trip to the beach can’t be nanny-free
- Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs
- Nanny of the week: Cambridge wants to ban ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
- Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers
- Nanny-stater of the Week: Who needs cupcakes and candy? Here, have a pencil
- Nanny-stater of the week: Fargo limits kids to less than four shots of juice per day
- Nanny-stater of the week: Wisconsin towns fight repeal of bow ban
- Nanny of the week: No fun in the sun, thanks to Congress and FDA
- Nanny-stater of the week: DOT to ban cell phone use on planes
- Nanny of the week: The out-of-control trend of arresting non-helicopter moms
- Nanny of the Week: Vermont city could ban ‘human activity’
- Nanny of the Week: Mississippi makes bird feeders illegal – by accident
- Nanny of the week: MO town bans breastfeeding near pools
- Nanny of the Week: School bans lip balm, 11 year-old girl fights back
- Watchdog.org blows lid off Vermont’s bake sale brownie ban
- Nanny of the Week: Seattle imposes fine on residents who throw away food
- Nanny of the Week: California bans plastic bags
- Nanny of the week: Maybe this time it will be different for Chicago
- Nanny of the Week: Florida growls at craft breweries’ growlers
- Nanny of the Week: Massachusetts town seeking to ban tobacco faces uprising from residents
- Nanny of the Week: Proposed bans on Thanksgiving Day shopping