Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chesapeake Bay gets clean water funding; $1.5b more for stormwater proposed

Environment News Service: To pay for better clean water accountability and regulatory enforcement in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Congress has authorized new funding to reduce pollution in local rivers and streams flowing into the bay. Legislation passed by the House and Senate contains a record $50 million for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Bay cleanup efforts, with $19 million in new funding for regulatory enforcement and accountability.

"Congress has clearly recognized that the Obama Administration's commitment to reduce pollution from all sources will place additional demands on both the EPA and the states," said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William Baker. "With this funding, significantly higher than the administration requested, EPA will be accountable to ensure that pollution reductions promised are actually delivered," he said.

Language in the Interior and Environment appropriations bill says the funding must "support additional regulatory and accountability programs to control urban, suburban and agricultural runoff in the watershed."

"Maryland's communities want to do the right thing by the environment, but they can't do it on their own. That's why I've worked so hard to put money in the federal checkbook that creates jobs, builds communities, and takes care of our environment," said Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat who sits on the Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. "I will always fight for the bay and the lives and livelihoods that depend on it."

"For too long, the federal-state partnership to restore the bay has issued ambitious goals, but yielded too little action to actually improve the bay," said Congressman Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat who sits on the Interior Subcommittee and played a key role in the funding increase….

Sligo Creek in Silver Spring, Maryland, which flows into the Anacostia River, to the Potomac, and into Chesapeake Bay. Shot by Moreau1, Wikimedia Commons

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