Pa’s failure to address Chesapeake Bay cleanup is hurting local drinking water: Dominic Bassani

Pa’s failure to address Chesapeake Bay cleanup is hurting local drinking water: Dominic Bassani.
Nitrogen from manure is the biggest problem because it’s partially an airborne pollution that settles in our waterways and works its way to the Bay.
Yet, planning to address one of the largest environmental challenges of our time continues to revolve around taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded solutions that only provide minimal impact as the stress on our drinking water – and the Bay – continues.
Local wastewater treatment plants have spent billions to improve their facilities to handle cleanup, and more local authorities are being pushed to do the same.
In all, stormwater authorities still need to reduce 3.5 million pounds of nitrogen at a projected cost in excess of $6 billion.
Farmers can then sell nitrogen credits through a competitive bidding program to municipalities at a much lower cost to help them meet the Chesapeake Bay mandate, literally saving taxpayers, farmers and businesses billions.
We know this solution will save money because a 2013 study by the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) concluded that Bay mandate costs could be reduced by as much as 80 percent if Pennsylvania approves legislation to put a competitive bidding structure in place.
This should concern every Pennsylvania taxpayer, farm and business in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Pennsylvania can take action to avoid hitting residents and businesses with billions in additional costs by mandating stormwater authorities use competitive bidding for nitrogen reduction.
This is what the status quo has created: Communities throughout south central Pennsylvania must treat their drinking water because it has too much nitrogen.

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