(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation today issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell, in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s $36 billion General Fund budget proposal for fiscal year 2020-21.
Mr. Campbell said:
“Chesapeake Bay Foundation is pleased that, in the Governor’s budget proposal, the Environmental Stewardship Fund (ESF) would no longer be used to pay debt service on the Growing Greener Fund. Those extra ESF dollars can be spent to plant more trees, address acid mine drainage, and protect additional acres of productive farmland.
“We also see Governor Wolf’s plans to increase funding for the Department of Environmental Protection as a positive step toward protecting and restoring water quality in Pennsylvania.
“Clean water is critical to the health, wellbeing, and quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, according to scientific assessments by the state, roughly 40 percent of rivers and streams in the Commonwealth are considered to be polluted.
“While this budget would reinvest in critical agencies and programs if approved by the legislature, it remains unclear how the state will close the over $320 million shortfall in investments toward meeting its obligations to clean up Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams.
“Ultimately, it’s up to state lawmakers to ensure that the funding is there to assist Pennsylvania’s farms, families, and communities to restore and protect our land, water, and air.
“CBF looks forward to working with the Governor and legislators toward a legacy of clean water for future generations.”