(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, issued this statement today following the introduction of SB 588 and HB 481 which would repeal 2012 legislation that provided funds to help local governments reduce polluted runoff:
"We are disappointed that Governor Hogan introduced bills that will backtrack on cleaning up Maryland's rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. These bills would starve local governments of funds used for reducing pollution just as they are installing clean-water solutions.
"The state and local governments had 20 years to reduce polluted runoff sufficiently to make rivers and creeks safe enough for swimming and fishing. Most jurisdictions failed. That's why the 2012 law was such a milestone. For the first time, local governments were provided resources to address the problem and many of them have already started to implement improvements. The bills introduced today would send Maryland backwards.
"The governor's own environmental agency warns us not to swim for 48 hours after a summer thunderstorm due to polluted runoff. In many cities and suburbs in Maryland it is the main source of pollution to rivers and creeks. Marylanders deserve safe and clean rivers and streams. Therefore, we call on the legislature to recognize the value of clean water and oppose SB 588 and HB 481. Let's not backtrack on the Bay."