Friday, July 13, 2018

Virginia GOP Congressman Again Tries To Gut Accountability For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Friday issued a statement condemning efforts by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia to gut the provisions in the Chesapeake Bay Program holding states accountable for their cleanup obligations.
Congressman Goodlatte's amendment would keep EPA from using any funds to provide "firm accountability" if a state fails to meet its pollution-reduction goals set under the Blueprint.
This accountability is what sets it apart from any previous federal-state Bay cleanup efforts. Without it, if one state does not implement its plan in good faith, the work and investments of all other states is in jeopardy.
“This amendment is out-of-step with bipartisan agreement in Congress and among Bay states on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup,” said CBF President Will Baker. “There is no doubt the Bay is improving. However, there are significant challenges ahead to meet the 2025 goals.
“Congress has twice in recent months voted to reject attempts to defund the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. Republicans and Democrats are united in support of the effort, a rare display of unity these days,” Baker explained.  “A further attempt to undermine the Bay’s progress is at odds with overwhelming public opinion, and an end-run around the will of Congress and Bay states. CBF will do everything in our power to see that this amendment is defeated.”
In March, Congress rejected a Trump Administration proposal to largely defund the Chesapeake Bay Program in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, much as it rejected similar cuts in the FY 2017 appropriations bill.
On June 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia of what the agency expects to see in state and local implementation plans for the third phase of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
Four pages of the 18 page expectations document outlines specifically what is expected of Pennsylvania and a series of steps EPA could take if Pennsylvania does not live up to these expectations.
For more information on steps Pennsylvania is taking to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.
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