The General Assembly recognizes that a critical need exists in this State to clean up pollution in the State's surface waters and to protect, preserve, and conserve those waters that are not yet polluted. The task of cleaning up polluted waters and protecting and enhancing the State's water resources is multifaceted and requires different approaches, including innovative pilot projects, that take into account the problems, the type of pollution, the geographical area, and the recognition that the hydrological and ecological values of each resource sought to be upgraded, conserved, and protected are unique.
It is the intent of the General Assembly that moneys from the Fund created under this Article shall be used to help finance projects that specifically address water pollution problems and focus on upgrading surface waters, eliminating pollution, and protecting, preserving, and conserving unpolluted surface waters, including enhancement or development of drinking water supplies. It is the further intent of the General Assembly that moneys from the Fund also be used to build a network of riparian buffers and greenways for environmental, educational, and recreational benefits. It is lastly the intent of the General Assembly that moneys from the Fund also be used to preserve lands that could be used for water supply reservoirs. While the purpose of this Article is to focus on the cleanup and prevention of pollution of the State's surface waters, the establishment of a network of riparian buffers and greenways, and the preservation of property for establishing clean water supplies, the General Assembly believes that the results of these efforts will also be beneficial to wildlife and marine fisheries habitats. (1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 27.6(a); 2003-340, s. 1.3; 2007-549, s. 1; 2011-374, s. 2.1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014