WASHINGTON — A local congressman is taking action to protect the nation's military bases from Mother Nature.
A 2018 Defense Department study found 53 of 79 military installations face current threats from flooding.
The list includes Langley Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Oceana, Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, and Naval Station Norfolk.
Rep. Bobby Scott's (D-Virginia, 3rd District) bill Enhancing Military Base Resilience and Conserving Ecosystems through Stormwater Management (EMBRACE Stormwater Management) Act would implement stormwater best management practices, to reduce flooding on and around military bases, which jeopardizes military readiness, pollutes the Chesapeake Bay, and compounds stress for military families.
"If a military base is underwater, obviously, it can't perform its mission," said Scott, co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force. " And that's why these kinds of investments are so important. If we can do flood management and stormwater management, you can not only avoid polluting the Bay but also deal with sea-level rise.
Co-sponsors of Scott's bi-partisan bill include Representatives Rob Wittman (VA-01), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Nancy Mace (SC-01).
Last year, the DOD spent $67 million dollars to help bases that are vulnerable to hurricanes and wildfires.