(RICHMOND, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Executive Director Rebecca LePrell issued the following statement on the budget proposals recently released by the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. While the funding amounts in these proposals have not yet been approved by the full House and Senate, they reflect a strong commitment by many legislators to reduce pollution entering Virginia's waterways.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation sincerely thanks members of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees for supporting measures that reduce pollution from agriculture and sewage treatment plants. We are also grateful to the Senate committee members for backing funding for a key program that provides matching funds to help local governments decrease polluted runoff entering waterways. Virginia's legislators recognize that these efforts are vital to restoring the Commonwealth's rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay."
House and Senate legislators will arrive at final funding levels during conference discussions in the coming weeks. The budget bills released on Feb. 21 included the following funding levels for clean water programs:
- In both the House and Senate bills, $61.7 million for agricultural best management practices in fiscal year 2017;
- $59 million in both the House and Senate bills to reduce pollution from Virginia's wastewater treatment plants; and
- In the Senate bill only, $20 million for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, which provides matching grants to localities for projects that effectively reduce urban and surburban polluted runoff, the only source of water pollution in Virginia that continues to increase.