Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reminder: PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Committee Meets Jan. 26

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee is scheduled to meet on January 26 to continue its effort to develop Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 Watershed Plan for meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations.
The meeting agenda includes staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program Office will present a method for accounting for population and development growth in setting pollution reduction goals.
A strategy for local planning and engagement in the Phase 3 process will be presented by Lisa Schaefer, County Commissioners Association, and Davitt Woodwell, PA Environmental Council, who chair the Local Area Planning Goals Workgroup. The committee will also begin developing a public engagement strategy.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell told the Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday the Chesapeake Bay Program should release its initial nutrient and sediment reduction targets in February and finalized them in May.
At the Steering Committee’s last meeting in December, very preliminary information from the modeling done for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program shows Pennsylvania’s 2025 targets for reducing nutrients may be 7 million pounds less for nitrogen and 270,000 pounds less for phosphorus than originally thought.
Secretary McDonnell told the Council while the numbers may be lower, they will still be significant challenges for Pennsylvania.
One of the key concerns for Pennsylvania planners is how the Conowingo Dam’s reduced ability to hold back sediment from going into the Chesapeake Bay will factor into the reduction targets.
Secretary McDonnell told the Council the Conowingo Dam issue will be dealt with in its own, separate watershed implementation plan drafted by Pennsylvania, Maryland, EPA and the owner of the dam Exelon.
The Steering Committee meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg from 1:00 to 4:00.  Click Here to register to attend the meeting by webinar.  Participants will also need to call in 1-650-479-3208, PASSCODE 643 105 683 to hear the audio of the webinar.
For more information, visit DEP’s PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee webpage.

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