WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced $369,400 in federal funding through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE). The funding, obtained through the EPA’s National Environmental Performance Partnership System, will support a wide range of ongoing environmental management efforts. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen fought for and secured funding for the EPA in the FY 2018 Omnibus, after the President’s FY 2018 budget slashed EPA funds.
“Every family in every community deserves clean water, clean air and a safe, healthy environment. Federal investment in these important programs are not partisan issues,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “When air and water quality become compromised, it negatively impacts everyone. That’s why it’s so critical that the federal government continue as a strong partner with MDE as it ensures our communities have the resources needed to keep Marylanders healthy for generations to come.”
“These federal resources will help Maryland to better protect the health of our communities and our environment,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “We must ensure that current and future generations have clean air and water.”
Funding will help:
· increase the number of people breathing cleaner air
· reduce risk from toxic air pollutants
· improve water quality; provide safe drinking water
· reduce waste generation and increase recycling
· clean-up and reuse contaminated land
· manage hazardous wastes properly
· increase wetlands
· reduce chemical and biological risks
· improve compliance through monitoring and enforcement
Since 1995, the EPA and states have been implementing the National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS). NEPPS is a performance-based system of environmental protection designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state-EPA partnerships. By focusing EPA and state resources on the most pressing environmental problems and taking advantage of the unique capacities of each partner, performance partnerships can help achieve the greatest environmental and human health protection.