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EPA Evaluates Restoration Plans; Continues to Support States
New York Ag Connection - 07/30/2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday announced it will continue to provide financial and technical assistance to support two-year plans by the seven Chesapeake Bay states to reduce pollutants impacting the Bay and local rivers and streams.

The federal actions are included in EPA's evaluations of final 2020-2021 milestones submitted by Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, New York, the District of Columbia and a set of federal agencies. The evaluations are available at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl.

In its detailed milestone reviews, EPA identified notable strengths and key areas still to address for each of the Bay states. In addition to the current milestone period, EPA's reviews also focused on progress reported during 2018-2019 milestone period.

"EPA will continue to fulfill its partnership role in assessing, supporting and overseeing commitments by the Bay states to put practices in place by 2025 to fully restore the Bay," said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. "We have confidence that the Bay states will review the feedback in our evaluations and adjust their plans and milestone commitments, as necessary."

EPA pledged in its evaluations to work with each of the Bay states to develop specific oversight and assistance activities to support implementation efforts, including funding, technical assistance and analysis, training and regulatory reviews.

The funding and technical assistance, for example, will support Pennsylvania as it works to strengthen its Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) by 2021 and close the gap in its 2025 commitments. As part of its oversight responsibilities, EPA has taken steps with Pennsylvania to ensure funding is being spent efficiently and expeditiously in the most effective areas for pollution reduction.

Since the release of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in 2010, EPA and its federal partners have provided sustained assistance to the Bay states to support their restoration actions -- from wastewater treatment plant upgrades to agricultural best management practices to stormwater control.

EPA will continue to commit staff, contractual and funding resources to support implementation of the states' Phase III WIPs and two-year milestones.

In its oversight role, EPA will meet frequently with the Bay states and will report to the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership and the public on the states' success in meeting their goals. EPA is recommending that Pennsylvania report quarterly on its progress.

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