July 12th, 2006 - -
Washington, D.C. – The House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee will conduct an oversight hearing on restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay at 10 am in B-308 Rayburn on Thursday, July 13, 2006. The subcommittee will hear from Ben Grumbles from the Environmental Protection Agency and Anu Mittal from the Government Accountability Office. Mittal will discuss recommendations from a recent GAO report and Grumbles will discuss EPA’s efforts to implement those recommendations.
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest ecosystem in the United States encompassing 64,000 square miles. The restoration project is one of the largest and most expensive in history. Six states and the District of Columbia, 11 federal agencies and over 1600 local governments are involved in the restoration plan. GAO estimates that, over the 10 year period from 1995 through 2004, the program received a total of $5.6 billion in funding. Current estimates put the final price tag at upwards of $28 billion.
GAO has found the project has suffered from a lack of integrated performance measures, coordinated implementation strategies, and credible reporting mechanisms.