Thursday, November 7, 2019

Is It Raining Where You Are In Pennsylvania? Better Read This

There is a tremendous need for additional state funding to address critical drinking water, stormwater, flooding, wastewater and nutrient and sediment reduction issues all across Pennsylvania.
However, the General Assembly cut $16 million from the Environmental Stewardship Fund which funded local, on-the-ground conservation practices that could have addressed many of these problems in the FY 2019-20 state budget.
For example, that $16 million could have planted 32,000 acres of stream buffers that absorb stormwater runoff, nutrients and sediment. DCNR’s goal is to plant 95,000 acres of stream buffers by 2025.
For the 43-county Chesapeake Bay Watershed alone, the need is $324 million each year for the next 6 years to implement the ground-up, stakeholder-driven plan submitted to EPA to meet Pennsylvania’s clean water obligations.
Funding needs to start in FY 2019-20, if Pennsylvania has any chance of meeting our  2025 cleanup milestones.  
If the funding is not provided, Pennsylvania will be subject to sanctions from EPA and additional legal actions by other states in the Bay Watershed.
And worst of all, Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams will not get cleaned up. Limping along with existing resources means meeting the 2025 milestones will be pushed back to 2044-- 19 years.
The General Assembly did provide $6 million in additional funding through the PA Farm Bill in July, but that still leaves the farm community tens of millions of dollars short-- $171 million to put a number on it-- to support putting cost-effective conservation practices on the ground just this year.
Click Here for more background on water quality funding needs in Pennsylvania.
Visit the Growing Greener Coalition website to learn more.  Click Here for Environmental Stewardship Fund success stories.
(Photo: Cartoon by PA Land Trust Association intern Rhiannon Loza.)
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[Posted: November 7, 2019]

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