(RICHMOND, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Executive Director Rebecca LePrell issued the following statement on legislative budget proposals posted today that would boost funding for programs that help farms and cities reduce pollution entering Virginia's waterways.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation commends Senators Hanger and Lewis and Delegates Landes, Webert, and Lopez for their support for efforts to clean up the Bay. The funding that would be provided under these budget proposals is critical to making sure Virginia stays on track for meeting its goals under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint."
"Farmers have been eager to help under programs for agricultural best management practices that cut farm pollution from fertilizer, chemicals, and sediment to local waterways. Virginia cities and suburbs are managing polluted runoff through the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund. We call on other lawmakers to support full funding for these vital programs."
Several budget amendments would increase funding for programs that help restore the Chesapeake Bay:
- Amendments for funding to support agricultural best management practices (BMPs) introduced by Senator Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-Accomac) and Delegate Michael J. Webert (R-Culpeper) would add $20.9 million to Governor McAuliffe's $61.7 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2017 and set the funding level at $86 million for fiscal year 2018.
- Separate amendments by Senate Finance Co-Chair Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Mount Solon) and House of Delegate Appropriations Vice Chair R. Steven Landes (R-Weyers Cave) would add almost $12 million to Governor McAuliffe's proposal for each of the next two fiscal years for agricultural BMPs.
- Amendments by Senator Hanger and Delegate Landes would provide $50 million in funding in each of the next two years to the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, a key program to help urban and suburban areas to control and manage polluted runoff.
- Delegate Alfonso M. Lopez (D-Arlington) has also introduced a proposed amendment for $50 million in each of the next two years to support the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund. Another amendment by Delegate Lopez on agricultural best management practices would add $22.3 million to Governor McAuliffe's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 and set the funding level at $86 million for fiscal year 2018.