WASHINGTON – President Obama proposed a $15 million increase in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program Monday, despite calling for a cut in overall funding for the agency.
“In this era of budget constraints, it was encouraging that the president is supporting our effort to clean up the bay,” said Nicholas DiPasquale, director of the Chesapeake Bay Program.
DiPasquale said the proposed increase would primarily help fund grants for states to implement measures to clean up the bay.
Although environmental advocates praised the increase, Chesapeake Bay Foundation federal affairs director Doug Siglin said other important programs were being targeted for budget cuts.
“There’s also other parts of the budget that affect the ability of towns and cities and farmers and rural communities to achieve the pollution controls we really need to achieve,” he said.
Siglin noted that the budget called for a 20 percent decrease in the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which helps states fund wastewater treatment plants.
However, Siglin said he is grateful that the president included an increase in funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program in his proposed budget.
“[The] Chesapeake Bay Program is the way that the federal government and the state governments all come together and cooperate to try to get the Chesapeake Bay cleaned up,” he said. “That cooperation is an essential element.”