On December 27, the folks in D.C. did it again. In the federal omnibus spending bill signed by President Bush on Thursday, the administration cut funding to programs critical to reducing pollution and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
- $44 million in loans to local communities for upgrading their sewage treatment plants - GONE
- $1.7 million to curb runoff from farms - GONE
- $3.8 million for blue crab and fisheries research and native oyster restoration programs run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - GONE
Seven years ago, federal and state governments pledged to Bay pollution reduction goals for 2010. At December's Chesapeake Executive Council meeting, Bay state governors promised to redouble their efforts to clean up the Bay by 2010. Watching our federal "partner" reduce its investments in programs that are working is more than frustrating--it feels criminal. Once again, the federal government is abdicating its responsibility to meet its commitments, enforce the Clean Water Act, and ensure the health and welfare of those who depend on clean water for their livelihood or recreational opportunities.