Today Virginia Governor Ralph Northam previewed his proposed budget for clean water, covering fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The budget proposes $1 billion for programs to clean up local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Key programs being funded include:
- $286 million for Virginia’s Agricultural Cost-Share program and related programs over the two-year-period to support farmers installing conservation practices that reduce pollution to waterways; and
- $165 million to address the combined sewer overflow systems in Richmond, Alexandria, and Lynchburg.
In addition, the budget provides funding to help local jurisdictions reduce urban/suburban polluted runoff, upgrade sewage treatment plants, and increase tree cover in the Commonwealth’s cities and suburbs.
Following the announcement, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued this statement.
“Governor Northam’s budget proposes a historic investment in clean water. This is among the most critical budgets in Virginia history for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and CBF commends the Governor’s leadership.
“Virginia has a longstanding commitment, affirmed by governors of both parties, to have the practices in place by 2025 needed to restore the Chesapeake Bay. For years, Virginia has made notable progress in reducing pollution to local waters through key investments, but we will not reach the 2025 goals unless Virginia continues to accelerate its efforts.
“Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is one of those rare issues that has had bipartisan support for decades. Investing in these clean water programs supports our tourism economy and countless businesses across Virginia, from farmers to watermen to contractors that install stormwater projects. We look forward to working with leaders in the General Assembly and Governor-elect Youngkin to ensure future generations can enjoy healthier waterways.”
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