OPPOSING THE GOODLATTE AMENDMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, this amendment would prohibit the EPA from spending any funds to ensure that States fulfill their obligations under the Clean Water Act to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. If passed into law, this amendment would endanger the progress we have made in restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed and would put in jeopardy not only the Chesapeake Bay itself, but also critical economic contributions that the bay provides.
Since the Chesapeake Bay agreement was signed in 1983, the most recent agreement signed in 2014, bay States and the Federal Government have invested significant resources in cleanup and restoration efforts. Cooperation is critical in these efforts, and only under the cooperative agreement agreed upon in the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint are we seeing a lot of progress being made. But the Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts are part of backstops that make sure that each State does what it has actually promised to do. With these safeguards in place, States have to certify that their investments are not made in vain and that other States will also make good on their investments.
This amendment would undermine this historic collaboration, endanger historic progress we have made, and give States a loophole to avoid meeting their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act.
I believe that, instead of offering amendments that undermine Chesapeake Bay restorations, we should be investing even more resources to ensure that they are successful.
Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to reject the amendment.