Virginia lawmakers declined to back a $300 million bond package that would fund wastewater treatment plant improvements in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The bond, which passed unanimously in the Senate, hit a wall Wednesday in the House of Delegates. An Appropriations subcommittee voted to shelve the matter until next year.
The decision is a setback for environment groups, localities, sewer authorities and others that want to use bonds to help pay for upgrades that would reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges in the bay and its tributaries.
Ann Jennings, the
"There are in fact at least a dozen other organizations that will continue to work this as it comes over from the Senate," she said in an email.
The legislation springs from theU.S.
The EPA directed six watershed states, including Virginia, and the District of Columbia to devise ways to reduce pollution. In addition to targeting wastewater treatment plants, states are clamping down on agricultural operations, stormwater runoff and other sources.
The $300 million would be divided into grants and awarded to sewer districts in the bay's watershed, which stretches from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Eastern Shore.
There are 85 wastewater treatment plants under consideration in the Senate bill. Among them are facilities run by the