Friday, March 31, 2017

PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning Steering Committee Meets April 3

Development of Phase 3 of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan begins April 3, with the first meeting of the steering committee that will coordinate a broad-based effort by work groups and committed partners in the 43 watershed counties.
“Collaboration from the ground up by local partners in government, agriculture, business, and environmental and community organizations is the key to developing a strategic, implementable realistic plan to clean our streams, rivers, and lakes in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Focusing on achieving healthy local waters not only brings our communities positive local environmental and economic benefits, but also greatly improves our ability to meet our federal Bay obligations. Simply put, clean water is great for PA and good for the Bay.”
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office will host the meeting.
Pennsylvania is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment levels in its Bay watershed counties by 2025. The Commonwealth fell short of its Phase 1 goal set in 2010 and Phase 2 goal set in 2012.
This year, EPA is conducting a midpoint assessment of these levels and will define what Pennsylvania needs to achieve in Phase 3 based on this assessment.
While Pennsylvania has made significant progress toward meeting the EPA targets, particularly since 2015 when the Wolf administration launched its multi-agency “Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy,” considerable work remains to be done.
The agenda for the steering committee meeting includes discussion of EPA expectations and the establishment of work groups that will reach out to local committed partners.
Steering committee members include:
-- Patrick McDonnell (Chair), Acting Secretary, DEP
-- Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) (Chair), Chesapeake Bay Commission
-- Karl Brown, Executive Secretary, State Conservation Commission
-- Cindy Dunn, Secretary, Conservation and Natural Resources
-- Carlton Haywood, Executive Director, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
-- Paul Marchetti, Executive Director, PA Infrastructure Investment Authority
-- Russell Redding, Secretary, Department of Agriculture
-- Work group co-chairs (to be identified at this meeting)
The meeting will be held in room 105 of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
The steering committee will meet again on May 8.  
A day long listening event for public input on Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed pollutant reduction planning is scheduled for June 5.
For more information, visit DEP’s Watershed Implementation Plans and Chesapeake Bay Program Office webpages.
Related Stories:
CBF-PA: Wolf’s Budget Lacks Adequate Investments To Meet PA’s Clean Water Commitments

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