Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EPA Outlines Framework for Holding States Accountable for Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed the creation of a rigorous accountability framework for reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers.
A letter sent today to the six states in the Bay watershed and the District of Columbia outlined a series of consequences EPA could impose if jurisdictions do not make adequate progress in reducing water pollution.
“President Obama, EPA and the states want real, measurable results to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. To get there EPA is strengthening support for our partners, setting clear standards for progress, and ensuring accountability if those standards aren’t met,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Pollution in the Chesapeake is a challenge that has persisted for decades. This federal-state partnership presents new opportunities for cleanup, and we’re increasing support and accountability to be sure we get the job done.”
Federal, state and local officials have been working together on development of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a pollution budget that will set limits for sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment to the Bay and its tidal creeks, rivers and bays. EPA is confident the collaborative work will continue and that the states and D.C. will successfully meet expectations for reducing water pollution. The series of consequences will serve as a backstop, however, to achieving water quality goals.
To help the states and D.C. improve the performance and accountability of pollution control programs, EPA will provide technical assistance and an additional $11.2 million in grants for fiscal year 2010, more than doubling 2009 funding levels to the states. The funds are designed to improve permitting, enforcement and other key regulatory activities that increase accountability for reducing water pollution. Click here for full announcement.

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