Virginia Sierra Club: “Goodlatte Targets Clean Water”

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    From J.R. Tolbert of the Virginia Sierra Club, and in light of the relentless assault by Republicans on clean air, clean water, clean energy, and the environment in general, this statement is well worth passing on. How do dirty energy shills like Bob Goodlatte sleep at night?

    Republican Proposal for Government Funding is Off-base and Out of Touch

    Statement of Virginia Sierra Club

    Richmond – As Congress prepares to debate plans for funding the federal government through a Continuing Resolution, the Virginia Sierra Club has released the following statement in response to attacks on the environment by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte.  The following is a statement from Virginia Chapter Assistant Director J.R. Tolbert.

    “We’re not surprised to see funding for the EPA come under attack from the Republican caucus in this Continuing Resolution.  Many of the people making these decisions campaigned on that very promise.  What is surprising is to see one of Virginia’s own Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduce an amendment to the Continuing Resolution which would withhold funding from EPA for implementing restoration policies across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

    “Mr. Goodlatte has long called himself a friend of the Bay.  He’s touted his leadership in protecting the quality of life of Shenandoah Valley residents, and claimed to support clean water.  This move throws all of that out the window, and shows what the Congressman truly believes.

    “Congressman Goodlatte’s actions in regard to the Continuing Resolution will harm quality of life for residents across Virginia’s sixth district by threatening clean water.  His willingness to treat Virginia’s rivers, lakes and streams as a dumping ground stands in stark contrast with the image he’s painted of himself.

    “This blatant disregard for the EPA may score the congressman political points in the short-term, but it does nothing to help the people or economy of Virginia and will backfire in the future.”

    • Dear Congressman Goodlatte,

      We are writing to request that you withdraw your amendment to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution.  This amendment, which reads “Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop, promulgate, evaluate, implement, provide oversight to, or backstop total maximum daily loads or watershed implementation for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” would impose an unfunded mandate on the Commonwealth of Virginia and every locality which is working on local TMDLs or other Bay restoration efforts.

      As you know, the Governor’s office submitted a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) which was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and as we write, the Commonwealth and EPA are working together to implement this WIP.  Localities also are working on Bay restoration; for example, Fairfax County has been working with EPA on development of the Accotink Creek TMDL.  If your amendment became law, it would be illegal for EPA employees to provide any assistance to state and local Bay restoration efforts.  It would turn a partnership into an unfunded mandate, relieving the federal government of its responsibility while creating new burdens on local governments and the Commonwealth.  

      We urge you to withdraw this amendment in favor of an approach that will build on Virginia’s WIP and local Bay restoration efforts.

      Sincerely,

      Senator Mary Margaret Whipple                           Delegate David L. Bulova

      District 31                                                                  District 37

      Senate of Virginia                                                    House of Delegates