CBF-PA: Rep. Everett Is Right, PA Needs New Funding For Clean Water Programs
Harry Campbell, PA Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, recently sent this letter of support for an Op-Ed Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) wrote that appeared on PennLive.com saying new sources of funding are critical to meeting Pennsylvania’s clean water commitments.
The text of the Campbell letter follows—
State Representative Garth Everett, R-Lycoming, was correct in his recent PennLive Op-Ed, that new sources of funding are critical to restoring and protecting our rivers and streams, and producing the clean water that Pennsylvanians deserve and have a right to.
About 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s waterways are damaged by pollution and Pennsylvania has developed a Clean Water Blueprint to reduce the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that are degrading them.
Earlier this year, the Commonwealth announced that it was “rebooting” efforts to reduce pollution, by conducting more farm inspections and planting more stream buffers. Implementing the new strategy could be a catalyst to Blueprint success.
But the Environmental Protection Agency has reported that Pennsylvania is not on track to meet its Blueprint goals of having 60 percent of the pollution-reduction practices necessary to restore water quality in place by 2017 and 100 percent in place by 2025.
Without the necessary commitment of resources, Pennsylvania’s reboot and its Clean Water Blueprint are destined to fail. Sadly, Pennsylvania’s general fund budget for fiscal year 2016-17 falls short of providing the funding needed to successfully follow-through on either one.
Be it through a Water Quality Improvement Fund, which Rep. Everett referred to, a new Growing Greener initiative, or a combination of other measures, Pennsylvania needs to find and fund the answers to its clean water woes.
Our health, way of life, and economy depend on it.
PA Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
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