Sept. 3, 2019 by Evan Isaacson

The Ball Is Back in EPA's Court Following Release of Final Bay Restoration Plans

Last week, the six Chesapeake Bay states and the District of Columbia posted their final plans to meet the 2025 pollution reduction targets under the Bay cleanup effort known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load ("Bay TMDL" for short). These final Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) were, by and large, little different from the draft ones released this spring, at least for the big three Bay jurisdictions (Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) that are responsible for roughly 90 percent of the nutrient pollution in the Bay.

When the draft Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for Pennsylvania was released in April, many were outraged that it contained a fatal flaw. The WIP failed to pass the most basic test, which is to propose actions that would actually provide the pollution reductions needed to meet the state's 2025 final Bay TMDL target. That fatal flaw still remains, although the final WIP would close the gap slightly. Without a plan in place to fully reduce pollution to the level needed to deliver clean water throughout the Susquehanna River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay, there really is not much else to say about Pennsylvania's final WIP other than that EPA, advocates, and concerned citizens must …

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