(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is supportive of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's effort to pressure Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection to ensure Pennsylvania meets required 2025 Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals.
Today, Gov. Hogan sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The letter called on Gov. Wolf to find the financial and regulatory support to meet the cleanup goals. It also requested that EPA use its federal oversight powers to ensure Pennsylvania meets the restoration goals.
CBF's analysis of Pennsylvania's latest Clean Water Blueprint, known formally as the watershed implementation plan, found it to be more than 25 percent short of reaching its nitrogen pollution reduction goal. Pennsylvania's Blueprint also faces an estimated annual funding gap of more than $320 million. The majority of the state's pollution is generated from agriculture operations.
Cleaning up Pennsylvania's waterways is important to the Commonwealth's culture, heritage, and economy. Hunting and fishing are the Commonwealth's second largest industry, supporting 390,000 jobs. In addition, fully implementing the Pennsylvania Blueprint will provide more than $6 billion in natural benefits to the Commonwealth annually.
Together, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia contribute about 90 percent of the pollution that enters the Bay. As Pennsylvania lags, Maryland and Virginia's plans are on track to reach their pollution reduction goals.
Given Pennsylvania's deficient plan, CBF has urged the EPA to require the Commonwealth to achieve its goals or impose consequences.
When the Chesapeake Executive Council (EC), made up of the region's elected leaders, meets next week they must address Pennsylvania's shortfall.
In response to Gov. Hogan's letter, CBF President William Baker issued the following statement:
"I commend Gov. Hogan for pushing the EPA Administrator and the Governor of Pennsylvania to fix and fund the Commonwealth's deficient plan. Pennsylvania remains the broken link in the Bay cleanup chain. Pennsylvania's Legislature and Governor have repeatedly failed to fully invest in pollution reduction. In addition, EPA is not using its oversight powers to hold the Commonwealth accountable.
"The EC must ensure that both Pennsylvania and the federal agencies create dedicated funding to help Pennsylvania farmers reduce pollution to their waters and the Bay downstream. If the plan still falls short and funding is not identified, EPA must hold Pennsylvania accountable."