Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania, issued this statement after Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he would allow the $31.5 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2016-17 to become law.
Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Blueprint will reduce pollution and restore local rivers and streams. The Blueprint goal is to have 60 percent of the pollution-reduction practices necessary to restore water quality in place by 2017 and 100 percent in place by 2025.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest evaluation, Pennsylvania will not meet its 2017 Clean Water Blueprint goals for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.
Mr. Campbell said:
“The new budget falls short of providing the resources necessary for the Commonwealth to successfully follow-through on the rebooted clean water strategy it committed to earlier this year.
“About 19,000 miles of our rivers and streams have been damaged by pollution, and implementing the Blueprint is the solution to the Commonwealth’s clean water woes. Pennsylvania’s new strategy includes more farm inspections and stream buffers and can be a catalyst for Blueprint success. But without the resources to back it up, it is destined to fail.
“With its latest budget, the Commonwealth has missed yet another opportunity to step up and make significant progress toward meeting the commitment it made to its citizens to clean up and protect our rivers and streams.
“EPA has promised consequences for continued failure to meet clean water goals. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the CBF-PA webpage. Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column). Click Here for a copy of CBF-PA’s most recent newsletter.
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