(RICHMOND, VA)—Ann Jennings, Virginia Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposed 2014-16 budget for clean water initiatives in Virginia:
"As we near the end of Governor McDonnell's term, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation acknowledge the governor's efforts to maintain progress in restoring the Chesapeake Bay. As noted in the administration's press release today, Virginia now has a science-based Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint that charts a path for successfully reducing excess nutrient and sediment pollution. Under Governor McDonnell's administration, the Commonwealth has taken many steps to implement the Blueprint, resulting in reduced pollution and cleaner waters.
"The governor's budget proposal appropriately recognizes the need to focus future action on controlling polluted runoff from agriculture and urban lands. While Governor McDonnell's proposal provides significant funding for farm conservation practices, additional funding will be needed for Virginia's Stormwater Local Assistance Fund in fiscal year 2015. These funds are needed to restore Virginia's rivers and streams.
"Farm runoff is being reduced in Virginia, but urban and suburban runoff washing off streets, parking lots, and lawns remains the only major source of Bay pollution that is increasing. This runoff sweeps excess nitrogen and phosphorus, oil, grease, pet waste, and dirt into local waterways across the Commonwealth, destroying streams, flooding properties, closing beaches, contaminating shellfish, and threatening public health.
"CBF will continue to work with local governments, the next administration, and the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session to urge further investments in clean water infrastructure needs."