WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) has joined her colleagues Senators Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), John W. Warner (R-Va.) and George Allen (R-Va.) in sending a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson, asking for an update on the EPA's efforts to oversee government restoration of the Chesapeake Bay's health. The letter comes nearly six months after the Government Accountability Office examined the Chesapeake Bay Program at the Senators' request and made a series of recommendations to improve Bay quality.
"The Chesapeake Bay is part of who we are as Marylanders - our heritage and our culture. We need to know that EPA is stepping up to its responsibilities for protecting the Bay and public health," said Senator Mikulski. "The Administration must take immediate action to ensure the stewardship and accountability of the federal government's efforts to restore the Bay."
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Administrator Johnson:
We are writing to request an update on the Administration's efforts to ensure stewardship and accountability of the Federal government's efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
It has been almost six months since the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined the Chesapeake Bay Program, at our request, and issued a series of recommendations to get Bay restoration back on track. Specifically, GAO recommended that you, as the lead Federal official responsible for Chesapeake Bay restoration, instruct the Bay Program to develop: a better way of assessing Bay health; a more effective and credible method for reporting Bay health; and a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to implement restoration plans, taking into consideration available funding.
We would like to know what actions you have taken to date to implement these recommendations, and when the Bay Program will fully adopt them.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter. We look forward to receiving your reply.