June 30, 2010
Senate Committee Passes Chesapeake Clean Water Act
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued this statement following passage of the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act by the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works with strong bipartisan support. It will now move to consideration by the full Senate.
"The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act is the most important legislation for Bay restoration in decades. It will replace the failed cleanup efforts of the past with accountability, milestones, and consequences for failure. The legislation affirms the science-based pollution limits that are being established by the EPA, the watershed states, and the District of Columbia through the judicially-ordered Total Maximum Daily Load, and allows each jurisdiction to decide how best to achieve those limits. It also authorizes generous new funding to help local jurisdictions attack the expensive task of reducing urban and suburban runoff and creates an important new source of revenue for farmers and landowners.
"The environmental tragedy unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the linkages between clean water and a healthy economy. Here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed we have our own variation of the Gulf oil spill tragedy—over 22 million pounds of polluting nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment spewing into local rivers, streams, and the Bay every day.
"Senator Cardin has done extraordinary work in drafting strong, substantive legislation that Senators from both parties and from every part of the nation can support. We commend the efforts of Senator Cardin and his committee colleagues to move this critical bill forward, and encourage the full Senate to act swiftly to pass S. 1816."