Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, in a cost-saving effort, is taking Virginia out of a 71-year-old multi-state compact to clean and maintain the Potomac River. The Governor's $85 billion biennial budget package does not include $151,500 to fund the Commonwealth's membership in the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
The Potomac River Basin encompasses 15,000 square miles, and the multi-jurisdictional contract has been maintained by Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia since it was enacted in 1940.
While some, including the governor, say the state's membership is expensive, others say it pays for itself with $500,000 in returns from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants and projects made possible with the funds.
(D-44th) will introduce a budget amendment to restore the funds to the biennial budget. “Our state represents the largest portion of the Potomac River watershed; not funding it is a big deal,” he told the Washington Times.
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