| Recent bi-partisan legislation will improve local water quality
|"I'm proud to join with my friend from across the aisle, Rep. Patrick Murphy, on this bill to care for water quality."
–Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY-23).
New York Stands Up for Clean Water!
When people think of the Chesapeake Bay, most do not immediately think of New York. But, the Empire State includes 6,250 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Nestled in the southwestern corner of New York sits the 23rd Congressional District, which includes the towns of Ithaca and Corning. Home to the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers, this district is represented by Republican Congressman Tom Reed.
This summer Congressman Reed introduced bi-partisan legislation to help local communities in the Chesapeake region improve water quality. Reed teamed up with Congressman Patrick Murphy, a democrat from Florida, to introduce a bill that establishes a grant program to help local governments and farmers implement methods to reduce nutrient runoff that can have a serious impact on waterways.
This piece of legislation is suitably named the Impaired Waters Improvement Act.
According to the recently released milestone analysis of the progress Bay watershed states are making under the Blueprint, states are struggling to reduce pollution from urban and suburban polluted runoff, in part due to funding issues. The Impaired Waters Improvement Act will create a grants program—at no cost to taxpayers—to help them.
Time and again, we have seen that when communities have necessary funding, they are able to create and implement common sense plans to reduce polluted runoff. If done properly, these efforts can save municipalities money in the long run. Lancaster, Pennsylvania provides a glowing example. Lancaster City has a comprehensive Green Infrastructure Plan that addresses polluted runoff. For example, the city has identified approximately 20 street blocks that are scheduled for repair and will use porous pavement for these repairs to allow water to seep through. Over the next 25 years, some 450 blocks will be developed similarly. The city estimates that its efforts will save $121.7 million over the next 25 years.
CBF, in a partnership with the Center for Watershed Protection, has been working to help other Pennsylvania municipalities develop similar plans to address their runoff challenges. The Impaired Waters Improvement Act would provide funding to help communities implement these plans.
"Our farmers, our communities need help to improve runoff practices and community sewer and wastewater systems," said Congressman Reed. "Farmers and communities working hard to meet water quality requirements fairly deserve this help. I'm proud to join with my friend from across the aisle, Rep. Patrick Murphy, on this bill to care for water quality."
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation applauds Congressman Reed for introducing this bill which will help local governments manage against the increasing pollution associated with runoff and restore local rivers, streams, and the Bay.