When the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was established in 2010 (see Appendix T), it was believed that the Conowingo Dam would continue to trap a portion of the sediment and nutrient pollution flowing down the Susquehanna River, at least through 2025. This trapping capacity was factored into the projections of how much pollution reductions would be needed to restore the Bay. New research has determined that the reservoir behind Conowingo Dam has effectively filled-in and hence, larger pollution reductions are needed to meet the Bay’s water quality standards than originally calculated. To address this issue, in December 2017, the Chesapeake Bay Program Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) agreed to work collaboratively on a separate Conowingo Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).
Scope and Purpose
The PSC created a Conowingo WIP Steering Committee with the following roles and responsibilities:
- Consists of a representative from each Bay watershed jurisdiction and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Members may also solicit comments on the Conowingo WIP framework from key stakeholders. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not participate due to its oversight role as part of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load accountability framework;
- Develops the Conowingo WIP with EPA staff and contractor support;
- Guides the development of a financing strategy with contractor support; and,
- Oversees implementation of the Conowingo WIP with contractor support.