Sen. Bryan Townsend’s Main Talking Points:
Clean water is critical to our economy, our health, and our future.
In 2014 when I learned over 90% of our waterways are impaired, I wanted to act. We have the technology to fix it—we just need the political will. Governor Markell’s proposal did not gain traction, and advocacy through 2015 did not lead to legislation. So, in 2015, I created a task force with Representative Mike Mulrooney.
We have met for many months now, and we have had broad and thorough discussion. We are on verge of finalizing a report, which hopefully will happen later this month but if not then in April.
Tonight I would like to have a conversation about it, to talk about the issue in detail and to receive your input.
1) we need increased funding for water investments
2) we can build on the current WIAC model of policy-driven, data-driven decision making
3) we can structure a funding mechanism that enables us to leverage funds, bond, and establish public-private partnerships
4) geographic disbursement of water quality projects
6) Agriculture community is a key partner in all of this; Best Management Practices are essential
5) outstanding considerations include:
a) How to levy a fee and who collects it?
b) we must put a lock-box on any trust fund
c) can the trust fund be used for scientific studies and follow-up, or only the capital projects?
d) this will all be based off a long-term water plan
e) is it fair for a fee not to be borne more largely by large polluters?
f) can we phase the fee out as the water becomes cleaner?
7) call to action
– contact legislators
– letters to editor
– grassroots groups
– visit Leg Hall