WASHINGTON – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today passed Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s (VA-02) bipartisan bill to protect and preserve the Chesapeake Bay, recommending the legislation for a vote in the full House of Representatives.
“Our beautiful Chesapeake Bay is a critical economic and recreational resource that we must protect and preserve for future generations,” Congresswoman Luria said. “It’s been a privilege to lead this effort, gather support from both parties, and push this bill through committee. I urge House leadership to stand up for one of North America’s greatest natural resources by scheduling the bipartisan Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act for a floor vote.”
The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1620) is a bipartisan bill that would fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program by authorizing an injection of$455 million into the Program over the next five years. The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Actalso provides funding for local projects.
Congress has not formally reauthorized the Chesapeake Bay Program since 2005. Despite the current administration’s efforts to reduce or eliminate Program funding all together, Congress has acted in a bipartisan manner to continue funding the Program in annual appropriations bills.
The Chesapeake Bay Program coordinates data collection and distributes grants to states for Bay restoration efforts. By fully funding the Program over the long term, Congress would ensure that states get the resources they need to comply with their obligations to protect and preserve the Chesapeake Bay.
Original House cosponsors of the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act include Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force Co-Chairs Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01), and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03). Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are leading the effort in the Senate.