(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement today in response to a Feb. 13 letter from Governor Hogan to U.S. Senate leadership in which the Governor expressed his “strong opposition” to federal legislation weakening the Chesapeake Bay clean-up effort:
“We are grateful to Governor Hogan for speaking out against this Congressional effort to undermine the Chesapeake Bay clean-up effort. Governor Hogan’s voice is especially important now because he is chairman of the Executive Council overseeing the plan. The Council includes the governors of six states and the mayor of the District of Columbia.
“The success of the federal-state partnership to restore the Chesapeake should provide a model for how government, business, and citizens can work together.
“Like the governors of the six watershed states and the mayor of the District of Columbia, Governor Hogan has seen first-hand the value of the Bay clean-up plan. The effort, which we call the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, relies on Clean Water Act enforcement policies to ensure accountability. The Governor is absolutely right in warning that full funding for this program is critical to Blueprint success–and saving the Bay.”
Since 1983, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been part of a federal-state partnership responsible for improving the Chesapeake Bay. In 2009, EPA agreed to provide greater leadership and oversight in the effort through the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The Bay is improving by many scientific measures.
This past fall, the House of Representatives approved an appropriations bill with an amendment (H.Amdt. 354, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte) that would keep EPA from using any funds to hold states accountable to meet their pollution-reduction goals set under the Blueprint. House and Senate budget negotiations are expected to decide by March 23 whether the final federal budget contains the amendment.