Today Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin proposed budget amendments that would be applied to Virginia’s biennial budget approved last June. The budget proposals will be considered by legislators during Virginia’s legislative session, which begins Jan. 11.
Gov. Youngkin proposed the following levels of new support for Virginia’s clean water programs:
- $237 million to Virginia’s wastewater treatment plants to ensure that these facilities continue to make investments that reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to waterways. This amount would be in addition to the $70 million appropriated for this biennium earlier this year.
- $137 million for Virginia’s agricultural cost-share and related programs, which help farmers to adopt important conservation practices including forested buffers, fencing livestock from streams, cover crops, and other practices necessary to reducing the pollution that impairs local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. This amount would be in addition to the historic appropriation of $286 million over two years made by the General Assembly earlier this year.
- $100 million to support ongoing work by the City of Richmond to modernize the city’s outdated combined sewer system, which discharges sewage to the James River in times of high precipitation.
- $200 million to Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund, which provides loans or grants to finance resilience projects.
- $225,000 to conduct a blue crab stock assessment, which will help ensure a healthy blue crab population in the future.
These programs support Virginia’s commitments under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint to have practices in place by 2025 to reduce pollution to the Bay.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement.
“We applaud Governor Youngkin for budget proposals that recognize the need to accelerate Chesapeake Bay restoration measures and help address gaps in key agricultural, wastewater, and resilience sectors. While important progress has been made to date in these areas, inflation is increasing the costs of for Bay restoration programs, and climate change and population growth are adding new challenges to reducing pollution in the region.
“We look forward to working with the Governor, his Administration, and Virginia legislators as they address the budget and other measures needed to ensure clean water and a healthy Bay for future generations.”