The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed – Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – and the District of Columbia its expectations for the jurisdictions to reduce pollution to the Bay and its streams, creeks and rivers to meet federal water quality standards.
The expectations are part of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a set of pollution limits that will reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that flows to the Bay and its tidal tributaries.
The EPA expects the six Bay states and D.C. to show how they will reduce pollution loads to levels necessary to meet water quality standards. The jurisdictions will create detailed schedules with specific timelines for implementing and achieving pollution reductions.
By 2010, the EPA expects the six Bay states and D.C. to identify gaps in current programs that must be addressed to meet pollution limits. By 2011, the seven jurisdictions must divide allocated pollution reductions to the local level so counties, municipalities, conservation districts and watershed organizations understand their role in meeting pollution reduction goals.
The EPA will measure the jurisdictions’ progress through two-year milestones that lead up to 2025, when all measures needed for a restored Bay must be put into place.
Should a jurisdiction fail to create an adequate plan or meet its performance milestones, the EPA may impose federal consequences. These consequences will be identified later this fall.
Read the full expectations letter from the EPA to the seven Bay jurisdictions, and visit the EPA’s website for more information about the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.