I am writing to you from Arlington’s Eighth Congressional District about the impending crisis in environmental protections for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and our other natural resources in Virginia.
Congress should put protecting water quality, and the safety and health of communities across Virginia, at the top its list of budget priorities for FY2018.
Chief among these is ensuring the Environmental Protection Agency has the resources it needs to, well, protect the environment. That’s not currently the case. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is eroding the agency from the inside, making it easier for industry to get around the environmental oversight necessary to keep our water resources drinkable, swimmable, and fishable.
The Trump White House has jettisoned any pretense of environmental stewardship, having proposed cutting EPA funding by up to $2.4 billion. Even the House of Representatives would slash it by half-a-billion dollars, threatening the vital Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program.
Without a strong federal partner across the multi-state Bay watershed, we could destroy much of what we’ve done to bring this estuary — and the waterways that flow into it — back from the brink. This isn’t what Virginians sent their representatives to Washington to do. No one votes for polluted water.
I expect our Congressional delegation to do the right thing by fully funding federal water quality programs and give EPA the tools it needs to do its job.
Angela Renee Dickey