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Group Urges Corbett to Include Clean-Water Investments in Budget Plan

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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says dedicating state funding to cleaner water in Pennsylvania is a sound investment. Photo courtesy of publicdomainpics.net.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says dedicating state funding to cleaner water in Pennsylvania is a sound investment. Photo courtesy of publicdomainpics.net.
February 4, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Clean water is a vital resource in the lives of Pennsylvanians, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is urging Gov. Tom Corbett to address the importance of investing in it when he makes his budget address today.

According to Harry Campbell, executive director of CBF in Pennsylvania, one such investment should come in funding the Growing Greener Program, which was established in 1999 to address critical environmental concerns.

"This program has provided significant amounts of money to restoring and preserving the rivers and streams that we are benefiting from, both environmentally and economically, and in this budget address it's very important for the Growing Greener program to be preserved," he declared.

Campbell said funding such programs offers a genuine return on investment for the Commonwealth.

"Studies have indicated that for every dollar that we invest in restoring and preserving water quality, we save $27 in drinking water treatment costs," he specified. "Stormwater management reduces the amount of impact on human health as well as property impact associated with flooding events."

He said this year's state budget, and a concerted effort by the Governor and lawmakers to make clean water a priority, can have lasting effects.

"They are investments in today's economy and tomorrow's economy. They are investments in today's water quality and tomorrow's water quality. They are investments in our future, and that is a legacy, I think, each and every one of us can agree upon," Campbell stated.

Campbell pointed out that another casualty of Pennsylvania's lean economic times was the Stormwater Management Act, which for 30 years helped county and municipal governments prepare and implement stormwater runoff plans to protect water quality with the aid of state funding. The program was zeroed out in 2008.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA