WASHINGTON (WAVY) — The House voted to pass Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act on Wednesday.
HR 1620 would fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program at a level of $455 million over the next five years.
The bipartisan bill provides funding for local projects.
“I am pleased the House passed my bill that will ensure that our Chesapeake Bay will be clean and thriving for future generations,” Luria said.
The Chesapeake Bay Program helps bring together restoration efforts and distributes grants to states for efforts that restore the Chesapeake Bay.
“In Coastal Virginia, our economy and livelihood depend on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this critical legislation that protects this invaluable economic and recreational resource,” Luria said.
By fully funding the program, Congress will help states, including Virginia, get the resources they need to clean and preserve landmarks. Although Congress has continuously provided funding for the program, it has not been formally reauthorized in law since 2005.
Luria has been a vocal advocate for the Chesapeake Bay.
In an appropriations bill last December, Luria secured $85 million in funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program for fiscal year 2020. This is a $12 million increase from the previous fiscal year and the highest level of funding that the program has received.