Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun

PA - Will Pennsylvania save the Chesapeake Bay? | COMMENTARY

We are at an inflection point for Pennsylvania’s efforts to save the Chesapeake Bay.

What policymakers in the Keystone State do — or more importantly, what they do not do — over the next five years will determine not only the fate of many of the commonwealth’s rivers and streams in the Susquehanna and Potomac River Basins, but also the fate of America’s largest estuary and the third largest in the world.

All of us benefit from access to clean water, and it’s our shared responsibility to ensure clean water exists now and for future generations. Despite that, as The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board stated last month, Pennsylvania officials have “allowed all manner of pollution in the Susquehanna River, but don’t have to deal with the consequences as it all flows south into Maryland and Virginia.”

Put simply, Pennsylvania is lagging in its obligations as spelled out in the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, and policymakers must act with urgency if they are to right the ship.

That’s why PennFuture — a statewide environmental advocacy organization with five offices across Pennsylvania — has released a report designed to get our state lawmakers back on track toward funding clean water obligations.

Titled “Underfunded and Polluted: Solutions to Fund Clean Water in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” our report puts forth a legislative agenda that, if acted upon, would provide the technical assistance, agency support and public investments needed to put Pennsylvania on the path toward meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or the so-called “pollution diet” goals, by its 2025 end date.

Read more.