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Farm Bill Passage is a “Yeah” for Chesapeake Bay

May 16, 2008

Harrisburg, PA – A promise finally made good: that's a Pennsylvania view of the national farm bill approved by Congress Thursday. Among its many provisions, the measure provides real cash for cleaning up Chesapeake Bay, by including more than $400 million for cleanup projects in the region.

Doug Siglin, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says it took three years of negotiating to seal the deal.

"We have been striving for a partnership between the federal government, state government, and private entities. This farm bill represents the federal government stepping up."

Siglin says new funding would reach beyond the Bay because it will reduce fertilizer and livestock pollution throughout the state.

"From a Pennsylvania perspective, it's a tremendous improvement for the rivers and streams that eventually flow downhill to the Bay."

Siglin says it's Pennsylvania's turn to take action by approving the recently proposed Fair Share Plan, which would invest state money and local business funds toward cleanup projects.

The farm bill faces a final hurdle: President Bush has threatened to veto it because he wants crop subsidies reduced, though it was approved in both House and Senate by majorities which would be sufficient to override a veto.

More information on the Pennsylvania Fair Share Plan may be found online at

Deborah Smith/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - PA