(RICHMOND, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennings issued this statement following the release today of proposed revisions to the two-year state budget by General Assembly conferees. The proposed budget includes approximately $27 million to help Virginia farmers reduce runoff pollution. It also includes $5 million more for Virginia's Stormwater Local Assistance Fund that provides matching grants to help localities better manage urban and suburban runoff.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and all Virginians who value clean water congratulate budget negotiators for recognizing the importance of maintaining progress in restoring the Commonwealth's streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay.
"The proposed budget continues level funding for the state's agricultural cost-share program that helps farmers reduce runoff of fertilizer, chemicals, and sediment into local waterways. These are the most cost-effective dollars the state can spend to reduce pollution and will help Virginia stay on track to meet its water quality goals.
"The budget also appropriates an additional $5 million from the general fund to help localities across the state reduce polluted runoff from streets and parking lots. The runoff of urban and suburban stormwater is among the few sources of pollution continuing to increase. It is, therefore, critical that Virginia and localities accelerate efforts to address it."