The Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Shannon Gority, in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s $43.7 billion General Fund budget proposal for fiscal year 2022-23.
Ms. Gority said:
“Governor Wolf’s proposal to increase funding for the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is a positive step toward protecting and restoring water quality in Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, the Commonwealth lags significantly behind in meeting its pollution reduction commitments and it remains unclear how the state will close the over $320 million annual shortfall in investments needed to achieve its Clean Water Blueprint.
“With the Governor’s proposal to spend over $13 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the state would still retain nearly $3 billion in the Rainy Day Fund.
“The state legislature can make the choice to invest those federal dollars into the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, Clean Streams Fund, and Growing Greener. It is critical support for the many boots on the ground, landowners, and communities working hard every day to protect and restore local rivers and streams.
“In his budget address, Governor Wolf said, ‘Let’s take advantage of the opportunity before us.’
“Clean water is critical to the health, economic wellbeing, and quality of life of all Pennsylvanians and a lot of work lies ahead. It is time our Commonwealth seizes its opportunities to create a legacy of clean water for future generations.”
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