Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
Delaware releases draft plan for Chesapeake Bay


September 8, 2010
By Manure Manager

Topics

September 2, 2010 –
Delaware’s draft long-range plan for reducing pollutants from entering local
waterways that lie within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was posted recently on
the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s
(DNREC) website and made available for public review.
September 2, 2010 –
Delaware’s draft long-range plan for reducing pollutants from entering local
waterways that lie within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was posted recently on
the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s
(DNREC)
website and made available for public review.

Delaware’s draft Watershed
Implementation Plan (Phase I) was also submitted to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
, meeting the EPA’s deadline of September 1. Delaware is among
six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia,
Pennsylvania, New York and the District of Columbia – committed to a
federal-state initiative to develop a pollution “diet” that will help restore
the water quality of the bay and its tidal waters by 2025, with 60 percent of
the work to be completed by 2017.

The public is invited to
attend an EPA workshop to be held in early October to learn more and ask
questions of the EPA and Delaware. In addition, DNREC is offering to meet with
interested organizations before Oct. 30 to explain and review the draft.
Written public comments will also be accepted through Oct. 30.

A recently released report
by the University of Delaware Water Resources Agency estimates that Delaware’s
portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is directly or indirectly responsible
for more than 47,000 jobs, contributes roughly $1 billion in annual economic
activity, and provides at least $3.1 billion annually in natural goods and
services – drinking water and irrigation supply, agriculture, wetlands,
habitat, forests and recreation.

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Almost 35 percent of
Delaware lies within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and includes land in all
three counties. Approximately half of Sussex County, about one-third of Kent
County and about 10 percent of New Castle County drain into the rivers, creeks
and agricultural ditches that eventually drain into the Chesapeake Bay.

By September 24, EPA will
announce the Chesapeake Bay Watershed’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – the
pollution limits for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment for waterways within
each of the watershed states. TMDL is the calculation of the maximum amount of
pollution a body of water can receive and still meet federal and state water
quality standards for a safe, swimmable and fishable waterway.

The Bay TMDL will require
Delaware and all watershed states to significantly reduce pollutants from
entering Chesapeake waterways.

As part of the EPA TMDL,
Delaware developed the draft Phase I WIP detailing how the state will reduce
excess pollutants and implement Delaware’s portion of the pollution “diet.”

The state’s draft Phase I
WIP includes a description of actions to achieve the reductions and maintain
them into the future. This information will be used to set pollution reduction
targets by geographic area and source – agriculture, urban runoff, septic
systems, wastewater treatment facilities and others– for the final Phase I WIP.
In addition, Delaware will have to demonstrate accountability in meeting the
TMDL and improving water quality in the watershed by achieving two-year
milestone goals.

EPA will hold a public
workshop on the Chesapeake TMDL and the draft Delaware Watershed Implementation
Plan (WIP) from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 11 at the Owens Campus of
Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown. The public is
encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more and ask questions of EPA and
Delaware.

In addition, DNREC is
offering to meet with interested organizations before Oct. 30 to explain and
review the draft TMDL and WIP. To request a meeting or to provide comments on
the draft plan, contact Jennifer Volk at Jennifer.Volk@state.de.us or
302-739-9939.

The final Delaware WIP is
due to the EPA by November 29, 2010. EPA expects to establish the final
Chesapeake Bay TMDL by December 31, 2010.


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