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EPA issues draft Chesapeake Bay pollution diet


September 27, 2010
By U.S. EPA

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September 24, 2010,
Philadelphia, PA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a
draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a mandatory “pollution
diet” designed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its vast network of streams,
creeks and rivers.
September 24, 2010,
Philadelphia, PA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a
draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a mandatory “pollution
diet” designed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its vast network of streams,
creeks and rivers.

The draft TMDL – which
the EPA is legally required to produce – sets limits on the amount of nitrogen,
phosphorus and sediment pollution discharged into the bay and each of its
tributaries by different types of pollution sources. It is designed to meet
water quality standards that reflect a scientific assessment of the pollution
reductions necessary to restore the health of the bay ecosystem. The draft TMDL
calls for 25 percent reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus and at least a 16
percent reduction in sediment to achieve a healthy Bay and local rivers. These
reductions, which the science indicates are necessary to achieve a healthy
watershed, would be achieved by a combination of federal and state actions.

Development of the draft
TMDL followed careful EPA review of pollution reduction measures proposed by
the states and the District of Columbia earlier this month in their Watershed
Implementation Plans.

As a result, the draft
TMDL allocations released today reflect a combination of defined state
commitments and supplemental EPA measures which tighten controls on permitted
“point sources” of pollution, such as wastewater treatment plants, large animal
agriculture operations and municipal stormwater systems.

The EPA will now work with
federal partners, like the Department of Agriculture, to assist bay watershed
states and the District of Columbia as they revise and strengthen the
implementation plans before final versions are due on November 29.

The Draft TMDL which
contains evaluations of the plans and EPA adjustments for all seven
jurisdictions can be found at http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.

The release of the draft
TMDL begins a 45-day public comment period that will include 18 public meetings
in all six watershed states (Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New
York and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia. A full public meeting
schedule, including registration links for online broadcast is available on the bay TMDL web site: http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.
The web site also provides instructions for accessing the draft TMDL and
providing formal comments.

The TMDL is designed to
ensure that all pollution control measures to fully restore the bay and its
tidal rivers are in place by 2025, with 60 percent of the actions completed by
2017. The final TMDL will be established December 31.


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