OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR MCDONNELL: DON’T ENDANGER OUR WATER SUPPLY!
I urge you to cancel your short-sighted plans to withdraw Virginia from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB). Virginia has benefitted greatly from its 70 year membership in this Commission. I seriously doubt that our Commonwealth would have accomplished on its own what it has achieved as a Commission member–activities ranging from pollution monitoring to shad restoration.
The money saved in Commission dues, about $150,000 annually, is truly a pittance compared with what we receive as a Commission member: research and long-range planning aimed at keeping the Potomac a vibrant and healthy resource, a resource upon which more than 1/5 of Virginia’s residents depend. The planning for the region’s long-term water requirements,the monitoring and coordination of the regional supply of usable water to Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland are functions that Virginia cannot perform alone. All this cooperative work would be jepordized were Virginia to withdraw from the ICPRB. Virginia has been a mainstay of support for the ICPRB since its inception in 1940, largely because it alone has nearly 40% of the river’s total drainage area. Therefore, it is uncertain whether the Commission could continue to exist without Virginia’s membership. Certainly the co-operative water sharing covenant operative in times of drought would not continue.
Finally, I firmly believe that because some potential uranium mining sites would drain into the Occoquan and on into the Potomac, we should be seeking, not discarding, the technical capabilities and expertise available through the ICPRB as we face this vitally important environmental question in the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
Delegate Kaye Kory 38th District
Please Note: I have organized a public meeting on this issue: October 25 at 7 p.m., FCo Water Authority, 8570 Executive Park Avenue, Fairfax 22031. I am inviting my fellow legislators and all interested citizens. I will draft legislation reinstating Virginia’s ICPRB membership, but most importantly, your comments in emails and letters to me, the Governor and your state Senators Marsden and Saslaw will make the difference.
Delegate Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. She may be emailed at DelKKory@house.virginia.gov.