An EPA plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay by implementing stricter regulations across its watershed has met with resistance from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, who proposed an amendment to a government funding bill that would block the use of federal money to support the plan. Goodlatte cites business and agricultural interests, while the EPA maintains the bay is too ecologically important not to preserve. The House of Representatives approved a short-term spending plan in February with similar language. All Virginia democrats opposed the plan, and all republicans save Rep. Rob Wittman voted for it. Goodlatte’s plan would extend the ban to at least September.
- Backed mainly by Republicans, led by Goodlatte
- “The city of Lynchburg estimates that, if they’re required to filter storm water, which is one of the goals of the EPA, it will cost them $300 [million] to $500 million to do that. Just imagine what that’ll do.” — Rep. Bob Goodlatte
- “[The EPA is] trying to take control from the states the ability to manage these watershed improvement programs, which have historically and clearly been under the Clean Water Act for states to do.” — Goodlatte
- EPA supported mainly by Democrats, including President Obama
- “How unfortunate that Congressman Goodlatte, who represents one of the states that would benefit most from a healthy Chesapeake Bay, is seeking to torpedo the bay restoration plan before its ink is scarcely dry,” — William Baker, Pres. Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Environmentalists call the plan “the bay’s best and last chance for restoration.”
This post compiled from stories in the Roanoke Times and the Lynchburg News and Advance.