Thursday, February 9, 2017

You Can't Make Everybody Happy

A couple of different articles from the Chesapeake Bay news feed shows a little difference regarding Pennsylvania's participation in the Chesapeake Bay clean up. First: State budget would offer more for water quality programs (use the "Google trick" to see the full article).
Gov. Tom Wolf's budget would increase funding for statewide water quality initiatives.

At first blush, the spending plan appears to propose a nearly 50 percent reduction in state funding to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which oversees state parks. But money from the state's Oil and Gas Lease Fund - a fund created with the intent of purchasing additional park and forest land - will be used to cover the department's operating costs.

The Department of Environmental Protection, which enforces federal and state environmental regulations, would receive $152 million next year, up nearly 1 percent from the current fiscal year but down roughly 40 percent from 2003.

A $15 million bond proposal to fund watershed protection activities could allocate $8.3 million to DEP water quality projects and $2 million to a Chesapeake Bay initiative overseen by DCNR - an effort to expand the state's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy launched last year and reduce upstream pollution in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency goals.
But Budget Plan Fails to Meet PA Clean Water Needs
Clean-water advocates say Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed $32.3 billion state budget doesn't have the funds to meet the state's critical clean-water commitments. The Department of Environmental Protection has already said Pennsylvania won't meet the pollution-reduction goals in its Clean Water Blueprint.

Harry Campbell, executive director of the Pennsylvania office of the Chesapeake Bay, says the state is required to have practices in place to reduce pollution by 60 percent by the end of this year.

"Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania's rivers and streams are damaged by pollution," he said. "And unfortunately, this budget does not adequately address or invest in clean water, across the Commonwealth."
Same facts, different spin. Here's the thing. Pennsylvania has little motive to clean up the water for Chesapeake Bay's sake. They don't border the Chesapeake Bay. It's pure cost, and no benefit for them. Maybe Maryland and Virginia need to sweeten the pot somehow.

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