(RICHMOND, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Senior Scientist Chris Moore issued the statement below following today's release of Virginia's draft water quality report by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ):
"The 2014 report documents an unfortunate increase in the amount of polluted streams, rivers, bays, and lakes in Virginia from the previous report. DEQ's report found that 86 percent of the state's estuarine waters, consisting primarily of the Chesapeake Bay, failed to meet state standards. These impairments cost Virginians billions of dollars in lost revenues, jobs, property values, and quality of life. Conversely, restoring the Bay by fully implementing the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint would produce nearly $8 billion annually in additional economic benefits to the Commonwealth.
"That's why it is imperative that Virginia fully fund efforts to reduce farm and urban runoff pollution. These programs are essential to improving local water quality and restoring waters that are currently listed as impaired. CBF calls upon Gov. McAuliffe and the General Assembly to fully fund the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund and to support the Commonwealth's agricultural cost-share program at levels that will meet the Blueprint's clean water goals."