The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, meeting in a special session today, approved appropriations that will substantially increase investments in programs that lead to cleaner water in rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. The agreement on how to spend federal relief aid includes the following levels of investment in clean water programs:
- $100 million for continuing modernization of Virginia’s wastewater treatment facilities to significantly reduce pollution to rivers and the Bay;
- $125 million toward eliminating the raw sewage overflows to the Potomac and James Rivers coming from the outdated combined sewer systems in Alexandria, Richmond, and Lynchburg, and;
- $75 million to repair, upgrade and improve septic, straight pipe, and sewer systems that have been leaking pollution to Virginia waterways. Some of this funding will be made available as grants to homeowners at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued this statement.
“Virginia’s elected leaders have taken a historic step today to upgrade sewage infrastructure in some of the most challenging areas. This work is vital to the quality of life for Virginians across the Commonwealth. We are grateful to our legislators for this work, which will yield benefits for many years to come.”