Friday, June 2, 2017

Chesapeake Bay Implementation Plan Listening Session June 5, Formal Comment Period Now Open

DEP also formally published notice in the June 3 PA Bulletin the comment period on the planning process is open and will be accepting comments until July 7.
Public input is specifically being invited to determine what initiatives are needed in agriculture, forestry, funding, local planning, stormwater and wastewater to improve the health of local streams, rivers and lakes.
The public is encouraged to answer the following questions in their comments:
-- What key elements need to be included for this effort to be a success? What priority issues must be addressed in the Phase 3 WIP for you to consider it a success?
-- What measurable outcome does the Commonwealth need to achieve by 2025 that would make this effort successful?
-- Is there a particular initiative, action, partnership or training that would aid this effort?
-- Are there possibilities for continuing and enhancing current projects or initiatives?
In 2010, the EPA established a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to address chlorophyll-A, dissolved oxygen and clarity impairments within the Chesapeake Bay. A TMDL is a regulatory term in the Federal Clean Water Act describing a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment are the main pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay that cause the previously listed issues. WIPs are the roadmaps for how the Chesapeake Bay states, in partnership with Federal and local governments, will achieve the Chesapeake Bay TMDL allocations.
The Commonwealth is mandated by the EPA to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment levels in waterways in the Chesapeake 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, the EPA is conducting a midpoint assessment of these levels, the results of which will define how the Commonwealth designs its Phase 3 WIP to achieve the desired reductions in pollutants.
Since the Commonwealth has not met the EPA's requirements to reduce water pollution under the requirements of Federal court orders and regulations, the Commonwealth is working to focus and increase resources and technical assistance, reinvigorate partnerships and create a culture of compliance in protecting the Commonwealth's water quality.
Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment system. You can also see the comments submitted by others on that webpage. Written comments should be submitted by e-mail to: or by mail to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.  Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.
The purpose of the June 5 listening session is to gather ideas on how to meet the Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestone in each of these areas: urban and suburban stormwater, wastewater, agriculture, forestry, funding and local planning and area goals.
Click Here for the draft agenda for the listening session.
For more information on meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Office webpage.
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