Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: PA Lagging In Meeting All Pollution Reduction Goals Except From Wastewater Plants

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Wednesday issued its midpoint assessment in meeting Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction goals through 2017.  It's not a surprise Pennsylvania is behind in meeting the milestones on all categories except reducing pollution from wastewater plants.
In Agriculture, Stormwater Runoff and other sources, Pennsylvania is behind in reducing nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution.
“Water quality is improving. The dead zone is getting smaller, scientists have documented record Bay grass acreage again this year, and the Bay’s oyster population is improving. But the recovery is fragile,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “The midpoint assessment was designed so that course corrections can be made along the way, not to provide excuses for delay. Rest assured, we will use all the advocacy and litigation tools at our disposal to ensure the commitments are met.”
All three states have exceeded their goals reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from sewage treatment plants, a major reason for the success in Maryland and Virginia. That progress makes up for shortfalls in other pollution-reduction efforts, but will not be sufficient to achieve 2025 goals.
All the states fell short in implementing practices to reduce nitrogen pollution from agriculture, urban runoff, and septic systems.
Watershed wide, the states achieved the 60 percent goal for phosphorus and sediment.
The region fell far short of meeting its nitrogen goal, largely as a result of shortfalls in Pennsylvania’s efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture.
“While we are seeing some positive trends, we will not have a clean Bay unless we also address the additional pollution due to the lost capacity at Conowingo Dam and the effects of climate change,” said Chante Coleman, Director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “The current clean-up goals do not take the impact of Conowingo and climate change into account, which is why the coalition will continue working with our members, like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to ensure that the plans developed to address these challenges are sufficient to do the job to restore the rivers and streams that flow to the Bay.”
Overall, Pennsylvania is significantly behind in meeting its goals for nitrogen and sediment, but close to meeting its phosphorus goal.
The Commonwealth is significantly off track in reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution from agriculture and urban and suburban runoff.
Progress in reducing pollution from sewage treatment plants is ahead of schedule toward meeting the 2025 goal, but it is not enough to make up for the overall shortfalls.
Although the Commonwealth is meeting the programmatic commitment of ensuring that farms have plans, the inspection program should begin verifying implementation of practices in the plans.
The CBF assessment said It is obvious from current levels of agricultural pollution, and even more importantly the almost 6,800 miles of streams impaired by agricultural activities, that implementation is falling far short of what is needed.
Future compliance efforts must transition toward technical assistance and implementation.
Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan will focus on counties, intending that the largest reductions come from local areas contributing the most pollution to the Bay.
Guiding the planning process will be technical data for each county including existing pollution by source, local water quality, agricultural production, and reductions achieved and still needed.
The statewide Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, coordinated by CBF, is expected to have a positive impact on reducing agricultural and urban and suburban pollution by achieving as much as two-thirds of the Blueprint goal of 95,000 acres.
Trees are the most cost-effective tools for cleaning and protecting waterways by filtering and absorbing polluted runoff, stabilizing streambanks, and improving stream and soil quality.
“Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Blueprint, new watershed implementation plan, and partnership that will plant 10 million trees can provide the boost needed to get the Keystone State back on track,” said CBF Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell. “Meeting clean-water goals in Pennsylvania continues to be challenged by federal and state investments that have been inadequate to clean and protect our rivers and streams. Investments at the right levels, in the right practices, and in the right places can change history.”
Click Here for more on Pennsylvania's progress in meeting its pollution reduction obligations.  Click Here for information on how other states are doing.
Pennsylvania is now in the middle of developing its Phase 3 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan to meet its water quality cleanup obligations.  Click Here for more information.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner