NORFOLK -- When the EPA released new pollution limits in the Chesapeake Bay a year ago, opponents called them job killers. But a new report shows that fighting pollution is helping to create jobs.
"Jobs are created, if not encouraged by some of these environmental regulations. And really in the end, we are all better off with less pollution in our water and our air and healthier for our citizens," said Christy Everett, president Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Hampton Roads.
This new study says environmental industry job growth is up 43% over the last 20 years in Virginia and surrounding states. It shows infrastructure upgrades to 57 statewide waste water treatment plants will mean more jobs. There are 15 plants in Hampton Roads.
"Produce that steel. Pour that concrete, so construction jobs which are hard to come by these days are actually being served by the waste water treatment plant upgrades, particularly in Hampton Roads," added Everett.
A UVA study says 11,750 jobs can be created over the next five years if Virginia and the federal government invest some 800 million dollars in farm runoff projects. That includes projects like fencing along streams and planting cover crops.
"Any cost share funding which is also being considered in the General Assembly for agricultural best management practices will help farmers stay afloat and then do the right thing for the environment," concluded Everett.