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In rush to cut taxes and fees, lawmakers are sacrificing long-term environmental sustainability

I was disheartened to read that both Republican and Democratic legislators are already making plans to repeal the stormwater management fees designed to pay for projects that mitigate the only source of Chesapeake Bay pollution that is still on the rise ("After Hogan victory, local governments look to cut taxes and fees," Nov. 15).

Such political posturing only serves to sacrifice long-term environmental sustainability for short-term political advantage.

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We are looking to our elected officials to be fiscally responsible. But we also look to them to be wise about making choices that will directly affect us and our children in coming decades.

The Chesapeake Bay is not only a source of recreation and seafood. The health of the bay is directly related to human health and welfare as well as our economic well being.

Only after the mandated fees were imposed did counties begin to seriously plan for the infrastructure and environmental projects that could finally address this major source of pollution. If they didn't address this issue seriously before the fees, what makes us think they will do so if this dedicated source of funding is removed?

If the law is repealed we will only go back to business as usual, kicking the environmental health and sustainability issues down the road again and again — until it's too late.

Mary D. Gaut, Baltimore

The writer is a board member of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.

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