September 24, 2010
CBF Applauds EPA Pollution Diet
Calls for States to Develop Better Plans
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President Will Baker and CBF Executive Directors Kim Coble for Maryland, Ann Jennings for Virginia, and Matt Ehrhart for Pennsylvania issued the following statements following the press call this afternoon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Will Baker said:
"Today, 30 years of failed, voluntary programs to save the Bay may be coming to an end. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears ready to enforce the Clean Water Act, consistent with its settlement of our law suit.
"EPA's draft TMDL is a pollution budget. If fully implemented, it will hold the states accountable to reduce pollution to scientifically defensible levels.
"Here's how EPA proposes to go forward: The states have until the end of November to improve their detailed plans to achieve the reductions articulated in today's TMDL budget. By the end of the year, EPA will finalize the pollution reduction levels based on science. And then, EPA will hold the states accountable and impose consquences they fail.
"The Clean Water Act requires EPA to exercise its authority, especially for multi-state systems like the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Clean Water Act now under consideration will ensure that today's action and the process it sets in motion can survive the period of time required to, finally, save the Bay. Congress must pass this critical legislation.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation applauds EPA for putting a priority on clean water."
Kim Coble said:
"CBF applauds Maryland for developing effective new strategies for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, presented in the state's watershed implementation plan. Maryland got it right on paper. The state's plan shows we can meet pollution reduction goals and achieve clean water. However, what is missing from the plan are details of exactly how the state will meet the goals. These details are critical and will help to ensure the plan is not only words on paper but actions on the ground all working to help restore the rivers and Bay. Fortunately, Maryland has the time and talent to get this done right."
Matt Ehrhart said:
"Pennsylvania has failed to come up with enough effective ideas for reducing pollution to local creeks, streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, and it has failed also to spell out how it might implement those ideas. EPA has concluded, in fact, that Pennsylvania's clean-up plan ranks behind those of Virginia and Maryland. EPA also has clarified the potential consequences of Pennsylvania's failure. It is imperative that the state use the time between now and the end of November when final plans are due to strengthen our commitment and specify how Pennsylvania will meet our obligations to citizens who have a right to clean water."
Ann Jennings said:
"CBF agrees with and applauds EPA for its accurate assessment. Virginia's draft plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams fails to assure the clean water that all of us deserve. Virginia has one last opportunity to determine how to best restore its rivers and the Bay. Dirty water destroys jobs, endangering our economy yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is time for Governor McDonnell to uphold his solemn duty to defend our waters 'from pollution, impairment, or destruction' as defined in Article XI of Virginia's Constitution."
You can find the EPA's draft TMDL website at http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/