Tuesday, December 7, 2010
EPA to evaluate five plans to clean up Chesapeake
Washington Post Online – The Environmental Protection Agency will take a month to evaluate plans from four states and the District that show how they'll aggressively reduce pollution that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Plans of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and the District, which filed on time Nov. 29, 2010. The states were required to show in detail what they will do to aggressively reduce wastewater runoff in the next 15 years. The EPA will decide on the adequacy of the Watershed Implementation Plans by Dec. 31. The EPA has threatened to recommend sanctions against the states if their plans are inadequate. The sanctions include redirecting federal funds for other state projects to water quality programs and opposing state permits to developers. Pennsylvania's plan would hire workers who would show farmers how to limit runoff, something the foundation likes. But they didn't commit enough funding for their plan. The plan also doesn't commit enough resources to limiting wastewater runoff from Marcellus shale drilling into the Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, said the plan commits $15 million a year to cleaning the bay. The state wants to focus its resources on the source of more than 80 percent of its bay pollution – agriculture. Storm water is just 6 percent of the problem. We could spend all our resources on storm water and get very little in terms of total pollution reduction.