Your Help is Needed:
Blueprint Funding Challenged
Good news: The historic federal-state collaboration to save the Chesapeake Bay is
working. Over the last seven years, Congress
and our states have invested significant
resources in the Chesapeake Clean Water
Blueprint and the Bay is responding. Yet the
House of Representatives recently passed a
bill (H.R. 5538) with a provision that would
undermine this effort by defunding critical
oversight programs—in direct opposition to
the will of Bay states and residents.
This extraordinary Blueprint collaboration
will only work with continued leadership and
financial investment from both Congress and
the states. Thankfully, leaders like Maryland
Congressman Chris Van Hollen know that
working together to save the Bay has never
been more important. He forcefully explained
this to his colleagues in the House of
Representatives and asked them to reject this
harmful provision, known as “The Goodlatte
Amendment” and support the Blueprint. His
inspiring statement is printed here.
Mr. Van Hollen was not alone. Members of
Congress from both sides of the aisle, including the entire Maryland delegation, joined in
opposition to the amendment.
Let your representatives
know that clean water
matters to you and
D.C. & FEDERAL AFFAIRS
Thankfully, leaders like Maryland Congressman
Chris Van Hollen know that working together to
save the Bay has never been more important.
Congress can still choose to exclude this
harmful provision and fully fund the Blueprint
in the final bill. But they need to know it’s
important to us. Let your representatives
know that clean water matters to you and
your community. And ask them to support
full funding for the Chesapeake Clean Water
Blueprint in the final Interior Appropriations
Bill, with no limitations. Saving the Bay is a
non-partisan issue and providing resources
for the Blueprint has strong bipartisan sup-
port. Let’s make it stronger.
U To learn more about CBF’s federal clean-water efforts, visit cbf.org/DC.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s Statement on the
“Goodlatte Amendment” to Department of the Interior,
Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017
July 13, 2016
I rise in strong opposition to the Goodlatte amendment, which would
jeopardize state efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Speaker, in my home state of Maryland, at the center of the
Bay watershed, there’s a lot of concern about pollution behind the
Conowingo dam. The sediment and nutrients there don’t just materialize
out of nothing. They come from Pennsylvania, down the Susquehanna
River, and is caught by the dam in Maryland. Pennsylvania’s water, and
pollution, doesn’t stop at the Mason-Dixon line.
The Bay states have recognized the need to work together to protect the
Chesapeake for three decades. But for most of that time, we haven’t
made the progress we need because there was no way to make sure
that every state was keeping its commitment. That’s why the states
asked for federal assistance in 2008 and the federal government agreed
to act as a backstop, giving every state the confidence to take action
because they know they and their partners will be held accountable.
This has been working and has been upheld by the federal courts. The
states are not asking for repeal. But this amendment would remove the
accountability provisions that have been critical to the plan’s success.
If Pennsylvania doesn’t meet its responsibilities, Maryland sees the
consequences at the Conowingo dam. If Maryland doesn’t do its job,
it jeopardizes Virginia’s oyster populations. We have a collaborative
process in place, and our states have made significant investments
and important progress. I urge my colleagues to respect the states’
partnership and oppose the Goodlatte amendment.