(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation today issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell, in response to Governor Tom Wolf's $33 billion General Fund budget proposal for fiscal year 2018-19. The proposal includes slight increases in funding for the departments of Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources. A decrease in funding is proposed for the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Campbell said:
"Among the many social, economic, and environmental issues facing this Commonwealth, CBF is encouraged by a slight increase in investments that can protect and restore our rivers and streams.
"This comes at a critical time when a report by the Chesapeake Bay Program indicates that the Clean Water Blueprint is working in Pennsylvania and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.
"But progress is tenuous and Pennsylvania has a lot of work to do. The Commonwealth lags significantly behind in meeting its pollution reduction commitments. It will take greater, sustainable investments in the right places and on the right practices to get Pennsylvania back on track.
"CBF supports a reasonable severance tax on natural gas extraction, if funds are applied to reduce water pollution and restore Pennsylvania's rivers and streams.
"The Commonwealth made clean water commitments to its citizens. We urge legislators to follow-through and provide the investments necessary to meet those commitments."