In President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020, the Chesapeake Bay Program would see its budget reduced by 90%.
The program is currently funded at $73 million. President Trump’s proposed budget would reduce that to $7.3 million. The Chesapeake Bay Program is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA program is responsible for coordinating science and research as well as providing grants and modeling to assist state and local governments with reducing pollution.
Lebanon County sits within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, one of many communities within the 64,000 square miles encompassing the watershed that spans six states.
A non-profit partner of the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has already issued a statement addressing the budget cut.
See more detail of the Trump administration’s proposed EPA budget here (PDF). The budget would also institute a similar reduction on a Great Lakes program.
“If the President’s budget were to be enacted it would devastate efforts to restore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker. “The Bay Program is the glue that holds the state/federal partnership together. And it’s working. Over time, pollution is declining, the dead zone is getting smaller, and Bay grasses are increasing. But the Bay is far from saved.”
“Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts have strong, bipartisan support. We will work with the region’s members of Congress to ensure that funding is increased, not reduced.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) called the budget cut “a total betrayal.”
“Here in Maryland, leaders from both sides of the aisle have taken a strong stance on environmental conservation, and we hope our leaders at the federal level will do the same,” he said in a statement.
US Senators from Delaware and Maryland have also spoken out on the budget cut.
A similar reduction was proposed last year before being reversed prior to the final budget being passed.