Shannon Gority, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania, issued this statement after Governor Tom Wolf announced that $17.4 million in grant funding was being awarded to projects in 33 counties to reduce pollution in local rivers, streams and lakes.
Of the total investments to support countywide action plans (CAP), $15 million will be from the Pennsylvania Environmental Stewardship Fund, primarily the Growing Greener Program, and $2.4 million is from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
CAPs are local strategies included in Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to meet the EPA's requirements for the Bay by 2025.
Ms. Gority commended the latest grants and said more needs to be done:
"CBF is confident that countywide efforts will make best use of these new investments to improve local water quality.
"Pennsylvania's current Phase 3 WIP achieves less than 75 percent of the nitrogen reduction needed and requires an additional $324 million annually. So, it will take greater and sustained commitments of technical and financial resources to get the job done.
"In Pennsylvania, the Clean Streams Fund (Senate Bill 832), proposes some of the $250 million of the $7 billion in ARP money the Commonwealth received go into the fund that would support the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP). The ACAP is an agriculture cost-share program to fund local farm projects through county conservation districts.
"State and federal opportunities for cleaner rivers and streams exist. It's time to seize the moment and make things right for Pennsylvania and the Bay."
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