(HARRISBURG, PA)—– Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania, issued this statement about the $34 billion General Fund budget for 2019-20, negotiated by the legislature and signed by Governor Tom Wolf.
Mr. Campbell said:
“With this budget, our elected leaders have once again failed to show the will, leadership, and commitment it takes to restore and protect Pennsylvania’s waters.
“Roughly 40 percent of our rivers and streams are harmed by pollution and the Commonwealth is updating its Clean Water Blueprint to fix them. Unfortunately, this budget does next to nothing to provide additional money to support efforts by farmers, municipalities, and state agencies to reduce that pollution.
“Legislators and the Governor have gone so far as to strip millions of dollars from the Environmental Stewardship Fund, making the job even more difficult.
“Through this fund and Growing Greener, CBF provided some money to family farms to help them plant streamside buffers, and created cost-share so they can afford to install fencing, improve soil health, and more.
“The many boots on the ground working hard for cleaner water—county conservation districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service staff, farmers, sportsmen and women, community and conservation groups, and others deserve all the financial and technical support possible.
“With this budget, Pennsylvania will continue to lose ground in reducing pollution. The Commonwealth already lags far behind in meeting its clean water commitments, and precious soil and other pollutants will continue to foul our rivers and streams.
“We stand ready to work with legislators and Governor Wolf in support of future funding sources like the Farm Bill and Keystone Tree Fund, that will address this budget’s shortcomings when it comes to clean water.”