The Trump Administration is proposing to spend $7.3 million on the Chesapeake Bay Program next year.There's not a Federal program that couldn't tolerate a 30% staff and budget cut; if properly administered it would probably improve most.
That’s $7.3 million more than it proposed in last year’s budget, when it called for eliminating it and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's other regional water quality programs. But it’s 10 percent of what the Bay restoration program has been receiving — and significantly less than Congress is poised to approve for 2018.
After failing to persuade Congress to zero out funding for the EPA Bay Program, the White House has proposed a 90 percent cut next year.
It’s part of a broader budget proposal released Monday that calls for an overall 23 percent cut for the EPA in the 2019 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The budget would also preserve the Great Lakes regional initiative, but likewise slash it by 90 percent, while eliminating most other regional water programs, including those for the Gulf of Mexico, Puget Sound, Long Island Sound and Lake Champlain.
Most of the Bay money would be steered toward water quality monitoring, with funding eliminated for state and local restoration programs and EPA Bay staffing.
It’s a proposal few expect Congress to go along with. Lawmakers largely ignored the administration last year when it called for slashing the EPA by 31 percent in the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. Instead, the House and Senate approved much smaller cuts. And rather than eliminating Bay funding, the House has approved $60 million and the Senate is backing $73 million — the difference is to be worked out by March 23, the latest deadline for Congress to approve spending levels for each federal agency and department.
Remember, we don't know where the money goes.
But I'm pretty sure it will continue on largely unaffected.