(WASHINGTON, DC)—Congressional leaders today finalized a budget deal for fiscal year 2020 that includes an increase of $12 million for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. Under the agreement, which Congress is expected to pass, and President Trump is expected to sign this week, Bay program spending would increase from $73 million in fiscal 2019 to $85 million in fiscal 2020.
The Bay Program is the glue that holds together the state-federal partnership to restore the Chesapeake Bay and the local rivers, streams, and waterways across six states and the District of Columbia that feed into it. Those states are Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Bay Program coordinates the science, research, and modeling to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, and provides grants to state and local governments to reduce Bay pollution. The president’s 2020 budget would have devastated this successful program, slashing funding by 90 percent, to $7.3 million.
Jason Rano, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Federal Executive Director, issued the following statement about the budget deal:
“A $12 million increase is a huge win for the Chesapeake Bay and exciting news for the more than 18 million people who live, work, and play in its 64,000 square mile watershed. It will help reduce pollution in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. Robust annual increases like this are essential to meeting the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint’s 2025 deadline for implementing the policies and programs needed to save this national treasure.
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is grateful to all members of the Bay delegation who supported this substantial investment in the Bay’s future. We thank Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen, and Shelley Moore Capito, Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and Matt Cartwright, and the members of the House of Representatives Chesapeake Bay Task Force, led by Representatives Bobby Scott, John Sarbanes, Robert Wittman, and Andy Harris, for their leadership in securing these critical additional funds.”