(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell, in response to Governor Tom Wolf's $32.3 billion General Fund budget proposal for fiscal year 2017-18.
"Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania's rivers and streams—nearly one in four—are harmed by pollution, putting human health at risk and damaging local economies.
"Since the Commonwealth committed to a new clean water strategy for its citizens and the people downstream, this is the second consecutive budget that has not included adequate investment in pollution reduction.
"The DEP has stated that Pennsylvania will not meet its Clean Water Blueprint goal of having practices in place to reduce pollution by 60 percent by the end of 2017. The lack of investment is an affront to all who care about safe water.
"CBF's State of the Bay indicates that the Clean Water Blueprint is improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay. But Pennsylvania lags far behind the other principle Bay states. Pennsylvania will only be successful with sustainable investments in the right places and on the right practices.
"We urge our legislators to find additional revenue streams so the Commonwealth can meet the commitment it made to its citizens to help restore and protect our rivers and streams.
"Investing in clean water pays dividends. A 2014 economic analysis found that fully implementing Pennsylvania's Clean Water Blueprint will result in an increase in the value of natural benefits, such as reduced flooding and more productive farms, by $6.2 billion annually.
"Clean water is a legacy worth leaving future generations. The health, way of life, and economic well-being of every Pennsylvanian depend on it."