Update on Congress
The Reed-Hochul "Dirty Bay Bill" (H.R. 4337)
The "Chesapeake Bay State and Local Backstop Limitation Act" (H.R. 4337) is backwards-looking legislation introduced in early April by two New York representatives. It would have the effect of destroying the system that has been put in place over many years to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers and streams that flow to it. It must not be allowed to become law.
For more than a decade, the Chesapeake Bay watershed states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia) have been cooperating closely with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to get pollution in the Chesapeake Bay under control. Based on some of the best science in the world, a clean water blueprint for the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.
One of the essential elements of the blueprint is accountability: every state, and every pollution "sector," must do its share. Previous agreements to clean up the Chesapeake failed because of lack of accountability and performance. Because of the accountability built into the blueprint, progress is being made and the job is about half done.
New York has been resisting doing its part to clean up pollution.The Reed-Hochul bill would let New York and other possible "resister states" off the hook. This is a recipe for the failure of the whole blueprint: if New York does not do its part, the job cannot get done.
WHAT THE REED-HOCHUL "DIRTY BAY BILL" WOULD DO IF IT BECAME LAW
The Reed-Hochul bill would remove all state and local accountability to reduce pollution, protect the public health and restore clean water. It would thereby destroy the blueprint that has been developed over many years. The legislation would actually prohibit several actions designed to reduce pollutants.
If H.R. 4337 became law, the federal government would not be able to:
- Modify or strengthen any existing or new industrial or municipal permit to require additional pollution reductions;
- Revise current regulations for urban runoff or large animal feeding operations to achieve additional pollution reductions;
- Make the current blueprint more specific to gain additional pollution reductions; or
- Withhold grant funding if the state fails to reduce pollution.
The Reed-Hochul "Dirty Bay Bill" would stop progress toward clean water in New York and—as a result—all the Chesapeake Bay states, and waste taxpayers' money. It must be stopped.