The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) issued a statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Shannon Gority, commending the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for passing to the full Senate pieces of legislation that would allocate $500 million to Growing Greener and also establish a Clean Streams Fund.
The committee voted 10-1 on Tuesday to support Senate Bill 525 and allocate $500 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund Growing Greener, a lifeline to conservation and clean water projects across the state since 1999.
The committee also amended and reported out Senate Bill 832 that would allocate an additional $250 million in ARP funds to establish a Clean Streams Fund. The fund would establish the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) to help farmers, and the Municipal Stormwater Assistance Program to provide funding to local governments.
Ms. Gority said:
“As the 2025 deadline to achieve the Clean Water Blueprint is fast approaching, seizing investment opportunities like Growing Greener and the Clean Streams Fund is essential to getting the Commonwealth back on track toward its commitment to cleaner local rivers and streams.
“Growing Greener investments bring lasting benefits to communities across Pennsylvania from clean water to open spaces to recreational pursuits for Pennsylvanians and tourists alike.
“Funds applied to green infrastructure through Growing Greener also help the current economy by supporting numerous small businesses and the good-paying jobs that go along with them.
“The Clean Streams Fund would create dedicated funding devoted solely to addressing Pennsylvania’s top sources of water pollution.
“Establishing ACAP will fund conservation practices on farms, improve water quality on local creeks and streams, and help the bottom line of our state’s farm families.
“Support by the full Senate of greater investments in Growing Greener and the Clean Streams Law would be a significant step toward the clean water our economy, health, and quality of life depend on.”