(HARRISBURG, PA)—Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania, issued this statement after Sen. Tom Killion, R-Middletown, introduced Growing Greener legislation that would provide $315 million a year for environmental conservation, recreation, and preservation projects in the Commonwealth.
"Growing Greener funding is a meaningful step in helping to reduce agricultural pollution and urban/suburban runoff. Planting streamside buffers and improving stormwater infrastructure are critical environmental and quality of life practices that benefit Pennsylvanians.
"Roughly 19,000 miles of our rivers and streams are damaged by pollution and the Commonwealth needs to get back on track toward meeting its Clean Water Blueprint commitments. This Growing Greener funding would be a down payment for renewed clean water efforts, but more resources will be needed if 60 percent of pollution reduction practices are to be in place by 2017, and 100 percent in place by 2025, as called for in the Blueprint.
"CBF has called on federal partners, particularly the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide an immediate infusion of $20 million in new restoration funds to reduce pollution in five southcentral Pennsylvania counties.
"We urge our leaders in Harrisburg to pursue funding streams that will produce meaningful progress toward cleaning up Pennsylvania's rivers and streams for the benefit of our children and future generations."