The following is a statement from Progressive Party Chair, Anthony Pollina.
The Scott Administration is making a big mistake if it puts off spending on efforts to clean up Lake Champlain and other waterways, as proposed by the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. The Administration plan to do less will actually cost us more.
Delaying action will drive up clean up costs, further erode the health of the Lake, increase the threat to human health and undermine large parts of our economy that rely on clean, fishable, swimmable, drinkable water.
It's wrong any way you look at it. And, it is important that Progressives, Democrats and Republicans committed to solving this problem work together with citizens to make sure we move forward not backward.
It is especially sad to be talking about delaying spending on clean up while many Vermont beaches are closed, on high alert, and considered unsafe. The message to Vermonters and tourists alike is pretty clear. Water quality just isn't important to the Scott Administration.
Its unacceptable that the Administration, facing this serious a problem, would actually decide to do less, when most Vermonters know we should be doing more.
Part of the problem is that the Governor insists he will not raise the revenue needed to address what is becoming a very serious health, environmental and economic problem. The fact is the longer we wait the more expensive the clean up will be.
As the saying goes, if your roof is leaking or a wheel is falling off your car, you would probably invest in repairs before things fall apart completely.
It may be time to seriously consider establishing an independent Clean Water Authority as recently proposed by members of an Administration working group. While there are a lot of details to consider, an independent authority might be able to rise above politics and actually tackle the problem.