Scope and Purpose
The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) uses loading estimates to quantify expected amounts of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) or sediment loads to water from specific land uses or point sources and makes adjustments based on an estimate of the effectiveness of a best management practice (BMP). BMP Expert Panels are convened to develop the BMP effectiveness estimates and the Water Quality Goal Implementation Team (WQGIT) is responsible for approving the loading rate reductions, and percentage adjustments to these rates, used in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model (CBWM). Since the definitions and values used for both loading and effectiveness estimates have important implications for the CBP and the various partners, it is critical that they be developed in a process that is consistent, transparent, and scientifically defensible.
The scope and charge of each BMP Expert Panel is unique, but all are convened in accordance with the Protocol for the Development, Review, and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model, which outlines the process for determining the need for a Panel review, the Panel membership criteria, and fundamental elements that all final Panel reports are to include.