Waters need to be protected
FROM: EMMETT DUKE & ISABEL HARDESTY GEORGETOWN
On Wednesday, July 13, The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the Goodlatte Amendment to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act — an ill-conceived amendment that essentially guts the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to exert any pressure on states that are falling short of clean water restoration goals.
In a show of unity for clean water, all eight members of the House of Representatives from Maryland voted against the amendment. We want to publicly thank the Maryland Congressional Delegation for their support of a clean Chesapeake Bay and we urge our friends and neighbors to thank them as well.
The Clean Water Act mandated that each state in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed produce a science-based Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) — now referred to as the Pollution Diet — of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus.
The Sassafras River Association, the Chester River Association, and many other government and nonprofit organizations have been working tirelessly to assist Maryland in meeting our Pollution Diet goals. The other states in the Bay Watershed — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia — are also working to reduce pollution, but EPA must have federal oversight to ensure all states are sufficiently doing their part.
The bill will now go to the Senate and then to Conference Committee. We will advocate for the defeat of the Goodlatte Amendment in both bodies. Thank you to the Maryland Congressional Delegation, who has acted on behalf of all of us who love the Chesapeake Bay.
Capt. Emmett Duke is the Sassafras Riverkeeper. Isabel Hardesty is the Chester Riverkeeper.