Editors note: All Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions must file their final Watershed Implementation Plans with EPA today. While Maryland and Virginia are largely on track to meet their 2025 pollution reduction goals, Pennsylvania’s plan, however, is sorely deficient. Once the final Pennsylvania plan is posted, CBF will be issuing a press release assessing the plans filed by Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
(RICHMOND, VA)—Today Virginia released its final version of the Clean Water Blueprint, technically called the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan. Virginia’s plan is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, provided it accelerates efforts to reduce pollution from agricultural sources and growing urban and suburban areas, while continuing progress in the wastewater sector.
The Commonwealth submitted a strong, detailed, and practical plan to reach the 2025 goals. However, the plan also underscores the additional work that lies ahead, especially to further reduce pollution from wastewater, agriculture, and stormwater. Success depends on Virginia’s General Assembly investing significantly in programs that address this pollution.
For farms, the plan prescribes a deadline for keeping livestock out of all permanent streams and requires detailed plans to reduce pollution from the vast majority of cropland. For developed areas, the Virginia plan includes strong support for programs that manage stormwater pollution, expanding protection from development for sensitive areas, and additional action to reduce pollution from lawn fertilizer. For the wastewater sector the plan will enhance pollution reduction from key regions, better balancing the efforts across the Commonwealth.
CBF Virginia Assistant Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement.
“Virginia has developed a strong plan for achieving its longstanding goal of restoring local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay. We applaud the Northam Administration for its hard work and commitment. Putting that plan into action will require renewed dedication from localities, farmers, developers, and citizens across the watershed.
“We now look to our state legislators for necessary legislation and for adequate, reliable funding of the key programs that reduce pollution from wastewater, stormwater, and agriculture. The 2020 General Assembly session is our best chance to ensure the investments and programs are in place to achieve these goals by 2025.”