(RICHMOND, VA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) this week presented Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington and Fairfax) with a Virginia Legislator of the Year award for his work to achieve a healthy Chesapeake Bay and reduce pollution to Virginia’s rivers and streams.
“Delegate Lopez has long been a Virginia leader on the environment, Chesapeake Bay restoration, addressing climate change, and environmental justice. He’s not afraid to take on challenging issues that will accelerate progress toward cleaner water and a healthier environment,” said CBF Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner. “Among many achievements in recent years, he sponsored successful legislation in the 2021 legislative session that will bring about significant and certain reductions in the pollution discharged to waterways from more than 30 wastewater treatment plants.”
As a key voice on Virginia House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee, Del. Lopez worked tirelessly to improve management of Virginia’s menhaden fishery and has been instrumental in passing legislation to curb plastic litter and support expanded tree canopies in cities.
This year’s wastewater legislation (H.B. 2129) will lead to major upgrades at sewage treatment plants that will keep an additional 1.8 million pounds of nitrogen pollution out of Virginia waterways every year. Also during the 2021 session, Del. Lopez was integral to the success of carbon sequestration legislation. This measure will help Virginia mitigate climate change by identifying opportunities to store carbon through agriculture, forestry, and other natural resources programs.
“It is an incredible honor to receive the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Virginia Legislator of the Year award,” said Lopez. “I've worked closely with the experts at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation over the years and we've made great strides in our efforts to protect the Bay and Virginia's rivers and streams. Without the advocacy and support of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we would not have made the significant progress we have on our pollution reduction and Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals over the past two years. I look forward to continuing our work together to build a cleaner and healthier Virginia for all."
CBF presents its Virginia Legislator of the Year Awards to lawmakers who have made outstanding efforts in the General Assembly to improve the health and resources of Virginia’s rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. CBF last presented Virginia Legislator of the Year awards in 2019 to Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) and Delegate David Bulova (D-Fairfax).