The House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee included $60 million in federal funds next year for the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal-state Bay Program in a bill it reported Wednesday, according to Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-MD, a member of the full committee. Of that total, $10 million would be allocated to grant programs to be spent for on-the-ground restoration projects in the six-state watershed.
Rep. Scott Taylor, who also sits on the House Appropriations Committee, released a statement Wednesday afternoon voicing his support of the program. Taylor said he would also like to see the program receive funding equivalent to the 2017 budget, which is $73 million.
“I am grateful for the support among members of the Appropriations Committee who fought to get the $60 million included for the Chesapeake Bay program, far from the $0 in the President’s budget,” Taylor said in the statement. “The Chesapeake Bay is America’s largest and most significant estuary, a significant economic driver for our region and a national treasure. While I would like to see it returned to the FY17 level of $73 million immediately, this is a strong negotiating position we will use to push for increased funding in the weeks ahead.”