Thursday, October 31, 2019

CBF: U.S. Senate Passes Increase In Essential Funding For Chesapeake Bay Program

On October 31, the U.S. Senate passed a package of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills that includes a more than $5 million increase for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program
Through the hard work of Sen. Van Hollen (MD), the Senate Appropriations Interior-Environment Subcommittee last month raised the program’s budget from the fiscal 2019 level of $73 million to $76 million.
Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) helped secure another $2.28 million for the program through an amendment offered by Sens. Gary Peters (MI) and Rob Portman (OH) to increase funds for conserving specific waterbodies, such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. 
The amendment brought total Senate funding for the program, which coordinates the multi-state effort to restore the Bay watershed, to more than $78 million for fiscal 2020.
In June, the House increased fiscal 2020 Bay Program funding to $85 million. The House and Senate must next reconcile their differing spending levels.
Following final passage, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Federal Executive Director Jason Rano issued this statement--
“Increasing investment in the Bay Program is essential as we move toward the 2025 deadline to have programs and practices in place that will restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. 
“We thank the Senate for increasing funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program, particularly Senators Van Hollen and Cardin, as well as Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (AK) and ranking Democrat Tom Udall (NM). We’re also grateful to Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman for their leadership. 
“As the House and Senate work to reconcile spending differences, CBF will work with the region’s Congressional delegation to enact the $85 million investment passed by the House.”
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.
For more information on how Pennsylvania is meeting its water pollution reduction obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.
(Photo: Susquehanna River, Chickies Rock overlook, Lancaster County.)
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[Posted: October 31, 2019]

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