(HARRISBURG, PA)—Lebanon County has joined the growing list of Pennsylvania counties that have adopted a Clean Water Counts resolution, calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Commonwealth by proclaiming.
"Our communities, our economy, and our health depend on clean water," said Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) Pennsylvania executive director. "We are excited that Lebanon County adopted the resolution. Support for Clean Water Counts now represents more than half of Pennsylvania's population."
CBF and the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition launched the Clean Water Counts campaign in 2014, urging local governments across the Commonwealth to pass resolutions and join in calling on legislators to invest in local clean water programs and practices.
In Lebanon County, more than 240 miles of waterways are damaged by agricultural runoff, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that Pennsylvania is significantly behind in meeting its Blueprint goals of having 60 percent of the pollution-reduction practices necessary to restore water quality in place by 2017 and 100 percent in place by 2025.
The Commonwealth's commitment of resources, such as a new Growing Greener initiative, is critical to the Blueprint's success.
"Never before has the Commonwealth faced an environment in which a Growing Greener III program was needed more," Growing Greener Coalition Executive Director Andrew Heath said. "Our water, our land, and our precious resources must be protected and restored. Now is the time to address these issues; pushing the can down the road is no longer an option."
Lebanon is the 33rd county to adopt a Clean Water Counts resolution. The other 32 counties to sign on are Berks, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, McKean, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Somerset, Susquehanna, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.
By supporting the Clean Water Counts campaign, Lebanon and other counties are telling lawmakers in Harrisburg that the Commonwealth must get back on track toward meeting its clean water commitments. It's a legacy worth leaving for future generations.