Maryland submitted its final Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan for Chesapeake Bay restoration this afternoon.
It’s the strongest blueprint of any of the states, and if implemented and funded sufficiently would allow Maryland to achieve its needed share of pollutant reductions. Maryland has pledged to implement, by 2017, the pollutant controls necessary to achieve 70% of its needed reductions, and to an accelerated timeline by implementing all necessary pollutant controls by 2020.
The plan has the most promise of any of the state plans of meeting its targets because it identifies specific strategies for reducing pollution, provides detailed cost estimates for implementing the plan, and provides strategies for pursuing the necessary funding. Now that Maryland has identified how much funding is needed for its pollution reduction strategies, the challenge will be acquiring that funding and maintaining the political will to implement the plan.
Maryland’s plan is a considerable improvement from the draft plan because it fills in missing details on specific pollutant reduction strategies, cost estimates, and timelines.
A couple more observations for now:
- Through the existing BayStat tracking program, Maryland has committed to assessing the effectiveness of primary pollutant controls and committed to some timelines for implementing contingencies.
- The plan provides detailed information on rates of inspection for implementation of best management practices on nonpoint source lands to reduce Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and sediment runoff.