Increasingly, cities throughout Virginia are struggling to
find ways to preserve open space and curb suburban sprawl. If
elected, how would you address this problem?
As housing tracts, strip malls, highway enlargements and golf courses replace acre after acre of land across Virginia, cities and the state are facing increased air and water pollution, traffic, overcrowded schools and a key loss of wildlife habitat. Shenandoah National Park's air quality is so poor because of pollution from surrounding cities and suburbs that there are days when it is deemed unsafe to hike the spectacular vistas that make the park worth visiting and protecting.
How will you as an elected official work to end the unwanted
flood of trash entering Virginia from other states?
An ever-increasing amount of trash from other states is brought into Virginia every day. Over the last several years Virginia has ranked second among the 50 states for accepting out-of-state trash. In 1999, the state imported a record 4.75 million tons of waste. This trash takes up space in Virginia landfills and threatens the stateís groundwater supplies. In addition, Virginia citizens could face enormous clean-up costs if this practice is allowed to continue. National legislation is currently under consideration (H.R. 1190) to allow state and local governments to limit the importation of solid wastes from other states. This issue is critical if Virginia and other states are to implement responsible and effective solid waste planning.
For more information contact Campaign Virginia, 804-342-1498.
How will you as an elected official promote smart transportation
planning and mass transit?
Despite Virginia's battles with mass congestion and air pollution from out-of-control traffic, the state continues to spend the majority of tax-payer dollars earmarked for transportation on new road projects and road maintenance. Spending on public transit planning has increased by only 1.7 percent over the last 10 years, from 8.24 percent to 9.94 percent of overall transportation spending. Northern Virginia, the Tidewater Region and Southwestern Virginia are all facing major transportation issues that must be addressed by elected officials.
For more information contact http://www.transact.org.
Wetlands, which serve as guardians of Virginia's clean water
and ecosystems, are in rapid decline due to development. How will
you work to protect and enhance both tidal and non-tidal wetlands
across our state?
Between 1600 and 1950, a period of more than 350 years, approximately 1.7 million acres of the Bayís forests, wetlands and farmland were lost to development. Between 1950 and 1980, a period of only 30 years, the Bay watershed lost an additional 2.7 million acres of open space and farms due to haphazard development patterns and poor land use planning. The rate at which the Bay watershed loses valuable land is increasing exponentially. In the last legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to protect non-tidal wetlands in Virginia, a major victory for the environmental community. However, the battle is long from over. Over the next few years elected officials must work to implement, fund and provide enforcement for this legislation.
For more information contact http://www.cbf.org.
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2000/1, League of Conservation Voters Education Fund