ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Pennsylvania recently announced that they are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.
As many environmental advocates have contested that Pennsylvania has been pushing many pollutants through the Conowingo Dam, downstream to the Chesapeake, the state announced that they are contributing $220 million to a fund dedicated to helping stop the flow of pollutants into the waterway.
A majority of those dedicated funds come from the federal government through previously unassigned American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Approximately 70% of all these monies will be shared with farmers who choose to make changes that meet certain environmental standards.
The “Clean Streams Fund” and an additional bill that was recently passed by Pennsylvania state legislators, will further regulate fertilizer used by farmers in the state.
Fertilizers are often considered one of the largest environmental problems coming down from the state’s streams and rivers.
But this all is happening as a long-targeted mandate is rapidly approaching.
Under President Barrack Obama, a federal deadline was placed on states that contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay to improve water quality by 2025.
Until now, Pennsylvania and New York have significantly lagged other surrounding states like Maryland and Virginia when it came to improving the bay by that deadline.
However, it is unclear if these processes will remain funded over time. Or if they will need to remain funded to meet such requirements.
As the American Rescue Plan Act funding is a one-time cash infusion, Pennsylvania has previously struggled to fund environmental changes to improve the Chesapeake Bay.
It is unclear if the process will work by sharing most of the funds with farmers who work to reduce the pollution, but many remain optimistic that this is a positive first step as they have seen a successful tactic work in other places.
But it appears Pennsylvania is heavily reliant on their plan working to help pick up some of the slack they may have created as the deadline approaches.
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