Va. Bay Cleanup Estimate Now Tops $15B

Figure revised upward

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    Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay could cost Virginians up to $15.7 billion, according to a new state legislative report. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) administration had previously estimated the cost at $7 billion to $10 billion.

    The new report was prepared by the State Senate Finance Committee staff and is Virginia's most detailed cleanup estimate to date, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The committee received the report Friday during a meeting in Fairfax County.

    The cleanup costs would be spread over the next 14 years because the deadline for installing measures to clean the bay is 2025. More than half of the measures, such as fences to keep cattle out of streams, are to be in place by 2017.

    The report says the cleanup would also bring economic benefits, aiding industries such as tourism and seafood.