Local lawmakers oppose federal bay cleanup cut

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Mar 02, 2011 - 04:58 PM

A move in Congress to slash funding for Chesapeake Bay clean-up efforts has received the support of the House of Representatives, although local leaders have gone on record opposing the cut.

Two of the region’s local representatives—Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross) and Del. Harvey B. Morgan (R-Middlesex)—have sent a strong message that the plan to eliminate all federal funding to "develop, promulgate, evaluate, implement (and) provide oversight to" cleanup efforts under the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a bad idea.

Wittman was the only Virginia Republican to vote against the amendment to the budget bill, which is now in negotiations in the U.S. Senate. The vote on the budget amendment was 230-195, largely along party lines. Fifteen Republicans voted against the bill, while eight Democrats voted for it.

Morgan wrote a letter last week to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke), who sponsored the budget amendment, asking him to reconsider his position. Morgan said that studies show that every dollar spent on implementing agriculture best management practices produces $1.56 in new economic activity for the locality.