(HARRISBURG, PA)—Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania, issued this statement after his testimony before a joint hearing of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees.
Mr. Campbell and others offered testimony on the status of the Commonwealth's strategy for meeting Chesapeake Bay Watershed cleanup requirements and potential funding sources.
Mr. Campbell said:
"Pennsylvania's plan to clean up its waterways contains all components necessary to establish the framework for success. But any plan is only as good as its implementation. If the reboot strategy has a weakness, it is in identifying sustainable funding sources to assure that the Commonwealth's Clean Water Blueprint is implemented.
"Without the necessary prioritized resources to administer, track, and implement the Blueprint, the plan will falter. Adequate resources for outreach and education, inspections, and financial and technical assistance are also key to the success of this plan.
"The commitment of $28.7 million in new federal and state funding is a welcome down payment for making meaningful progress in Pennsylvania's pollution reduction efforts. Implementation, according to a recent assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has not been on pace to achieve the Commonwealth's Blueprint goals.
"We must prioritize our limited resources and new funding, to those places, practices, and engaging the right people and communities in order to achieve results-oriented and cost-effective solutions.
"The strategy and Blueprint must be implemented in way that stacks the benefits of clean water, productive soils, healthy livestock, reduced flooding, thriving communities, and others. Doing so could result in $6.2 billion in natural benefits to Pennsylvanians every year.
"There is no magic bullet, no simple solution. We must avoid the temptation to believe that a single technology, practice, or approach will solve the challenges of achieving Pennsylvania's Blueprint and restoring the 19,000 miles of rivers and streams in the Commonwealth that have been damaged by pollution. We must focus on the practices demonstrated by scientists, policy makers, and practitioners to not only work, but to have the most benefit at the least cost."