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Chesapeake Bay Program funding could be kept in budget deal

Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

RICHMOND, Va. — A $1.1 trillion budget bill that would keep the federal government running through September fully funds the program that has coordinated Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts for decades.

The bill contains $73 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which President Donald Trump has called for defunding.

The program, formed in 1983, coordinates and monitors the efforts of the six Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia in meeting pollution reduction goals. It also doles out most of the money it receives in grants to the states and local communities for restoration projects.

The program has bipartisan political support, and Trump’s proposal earlier this year to cut its funding prompted an outcry from the environmental community.

Congress is expected to vote on the bill this week.