This past weekend Congressman Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District, held a town hall in York County. The event was attended by hundreds of constituents and members from the local Indivisible chapter.
During the town hall, a constituent asked Congressman Perry the following question about the Trump Organization’s proposed budget cuts to the EPA:
How will you reclaim and protect our air and water reserves with the proposed cuts to the EPA? Do you support the cuts to the EPA? Pennsylvania has a history of environmental problems. Air and water are shared across state lines. Don’t we need a stronger EPA to protect the environment?
Congressman Perry responds with the following:
When I was in the state house, we had a thing called the Chesapeake Bay strategy, which everybody in this room if you live in this district has to abide by. There was no law. There was no statute. This came out of the EPA, forced on the [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] and left some violators out. And by the way, some violators, if you believe in, if you are spiritual and you believe in god, one of the violators was god because the forests were providing a certain amount of nitrates and phosphates to the Chesapeake Bay.
A State Impact story from April 2015 reports that “no other state contributes more pollution to the [Chesapeake Bay] than Pennsylvania, and its farms are the largest source of nutrient and sediment pollution.” Last week in a letter to EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt, Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell highlights the effects a 30% cut to the EPA would have in Pennsylvania. On top of risking clean air and clean drinking water for millions of residents, “Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay program…would see funding completely eliminated. This program would no longer be able to provide much-needed support to Pennsylvania small farmers and local governments to improve their local water quality.”