HRPDC /YCWA Presentation March 17, 2011
Good Morning, my name is Patrick Konopnicki and I am chairman
of the York County Waterways Alliance, a 501c3 not profit
organized to help protect the Chesapeake Bay and the 200 miles
of York County waterways estimated by York County Economic
Development .We are here today to ask you to oppose any
litigation against the EPA.
In preparing for today’s comments, I came across the fact that the
recent HRPDC retreat had a theme of Sustainability . That is a
perfect coincidence…. because what I’m talking about today is the
sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. If we use the
accepted definition of Sustainability: which is a dynamic condition
characterized by the interconnectedness of social, economic and
environmental systems… my points will be easy to make.
We are here today because decades of environmental abuse have
wreaked havoc upon our great national treasure… the
Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. It is well documented that in
the last 400 years we have seen a sharp decline in the health,
wealth and wellbeing of the Chesapeake Bay. I think the current
grade is 31 out of 100… most schools of thought would call that
In my own locality of York County, we have seen the damage that
unchecked stormwater can do to local estuaries. In fact Moore’s
creek has recently been declared one of the most impaired
waterways and is under study by your organization with university
researchers from 3 states. The YCWA is anxiously awaiting those
In order to accommodate economic growth and development of
the county, we are sacrificing the ecological systems of Moore’s
creek and the Poquoson River by allowing excessive stormwater
flow into the watershed.
We know that in York county stormwater has created trash,
pollution, and sediment causing some waterways in our area to
be almost un-navigable and Ecoli counts that have been recorded
as high as 20 times the safe limits.
The YCWA is doing its part to help change these conditions by
Ecoli testing and sharing results with DEQ
Participating in the annual clean the Bay Day and last year
removed 5,500 pounds of trash from county estuaries
We have recently asked the county to allow YCWA to adopt
a new drainage outfall area to help prevent pollution before
it enters the waterways.
We are Cooperating with HRPDC researchers in the Moore’s
YCWA has been an active partner in the process of cleaning and
protecting the bay and our local waterways and will continue to
We’d like to thank you for the vote HRPDC took in January “to
move forward on the Bay TMDL and the Phase II WIP through a
cooperative regional approach.”
By moving forward with the Bay TDML and WIP II, we hit all the
Socially -we will benefit by being able to help residents and
tourists enjoy and appreciate our historic waterways while
reducing health costs
Economically – halt the continued economic loss of property
values ,tourism and fish habitat .
Environmentally- we will be restoring …what we have allowed to
become broken and in turn…then allow future generations to also
enjoy our national treasure.
By taking a leadership role in what is right thing to do in
supporting the Bay TDML …HRPDC will continue to play a critical
role in the region’s cleanup of our local waters and the
Chesapeake Bay and we hope you will take a positive leadership
role that other planning commissions will follow.
Anything less will be a giant leap backwards.
And for that difficult …but courageous role of opposing EPA
litigation …We thank you.