(HARRISBURG, PA)—Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) issued this statement following yesterday's passage of Senate Bill 351, a stormwater bill introduced by Senator Erickson. The Bill was passed nearly unanimously with a vote of 49 in favor and only 1 opposed.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) supports Senate Bill 351 and commends the Senate for its decisive passage of this important piece of legislation. This Bill specifically empowers local governments to establish stormwater authorities to address local stormwater needs, such as maintenance and improvement projects. Passage of this Bill will allow cash strapped local governments to generate necessary funding targeted for local infrastructure, including projects that prevent local flooding and property damage.
"Stormwater runoff is one of the largest sources of pollution to Pennsylvania rivers and streams, including those that drain to the Chesapeake Bay. Improperly managed runoff from aging and inadequate infrastructure is also a contributing factor to the devastating effects of flooding, especially within the Susquehanna River Basin, which is known to be one of the most flood prone river systems in the United States. By improving and maintaining local stormwater infrastructure our communities will be better able to protect properties from the devastating effects of flooding while at the same time improving water quality and reducing human health and welfare risks.
"While we've made progress implementing Pennsylvania's Clean Water Blueprint for the Chesapeake Bay, successfully reducing stormwater pollution remains a significant challenge. This legislation authorizes local communities to use another tool to meet local and regional clean water obligations.
"CBF encourages the House to pick up this piece of legislation and keep the process moving forward. Senate Bill 351 is imperative to enable local governments to address the issue of stormwater in the Commonwealth's local communities."