04.26.18

Capito, Others Urge Farm Bill Support for Chesapeake Bay Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) yesterday joined a bipartisan letter led by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to the Senate Agriculture Committee urging the inclusion of the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act in this year’s Farm Bill. The bill would dramatically increase the amount of funds available to Bay-area farmers to aid in conservation and anti-pollution efforts.

“As the Senate Agriculture Committee considers the upcoming Farm Bill, we urge you to consider inclusion of the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act,” the senators write. “The bill makes a number of changes to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) through additional funding, enhancing critical conservation areas, and boosting technological assistance.”

They note the bill has “broad, bipartisan support from the Governors of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the Mayor of Washington, D.C.” in addition to “over 70 different organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Choose Clean Water Coalition.”

The senators close the letter stating, “We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that our regional Bay economy continues to thrive and that all Americans can enjoy this treasure for generations to come.”

Senators Capito and Van Hollen were joined in sending the letter by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

Senator Capito and several other senators introduced the bipartisan Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act of 2017 in November 2017. This legislation increases mandatory funding available to the Bay, strengthens the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCCP), and provides more opportunities for effective conservation efforts. It builds on the historic funding obtained in the 2008 Farm Bill to help farmers and protect the Bay.

The text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow:

As the Senate Agriculture Committee considers the upcoming Farm Bill, we urge you to consider inclusion of the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act.

The bill makes a number of changes to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) through additional funding, enhancing critical conservation areas, and boosting technical assistance. These provisions are necessary to ensure that CCA partnerships are consistent with national, regional and state priorities and generate outcomes that address critical resource concerns, such as the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. They will also address issues experienced by stakeholders in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The bill has broad, bipartisan support from the Governors of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the Mayor of Washington D.C.  Furthermore, over 70 different organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Choose Clean Water Coalition support the bill.  Identical legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

Thank you for your attention to and consideration of this important request. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that our regional Bay economy continues to thrive and that all Americans can enjoy this treasure for generations to come.

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