(RICHMOND, VA)—Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today released a draft of the final update to Virginia’s Clean Water Blueprint, more technically known as the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan. This is the last piece of a comprehensive plan to achieve Chesapeake Bay restoration goals by a 2025 deadline. It has been under development since 2010 and considers input from local governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and other stakeholders.
Virginia’s Blueprint details concrete actions needed to reach the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce pollution to our waterways. It calls on everyone to do their share to reach this goal, including farmers, cities and suburbs, and wastewater treatment systems.
All the other states in the Bay watershed are also implementing plans to reduce pollution under the federal-state partnership called the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. This sustained, coordinated effort is already starting to result in significant improvements. Fully implementing the Blueprint will lead to $8.3 billion in economic benefits annually for Virginia.
Before being finalized, the draft plan will be open for public comment through June 7. Support for a strong final plan will be essential for Virginia to meet its pollution reduction commitments. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will thoroughly review the draft version and provide additional feedback in the weeks ahead.
CBF Virginia Executive Director Rebecca Tomazin released the following statement.
“This appears to be an excellent draft of Virginia’s Clean Water Blueprint—the single most important roadmap for restoring the Commonwealth’s waters. If fully implemented, the proposals outlined here will vastly improve the health of Virginia’s rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. After decades of work, this Blueprint is critical to ensure Virginia meets its clean water goals by 2025.
“Virginia is leading the way in this proposal by accounting for pollution increases due to climate change, which is already harming the Chesapeake Bay and is expected to worsen. It’s essential that we proactively address major threats from climate change right now to ensure healthy waterways for future generations.
“We thank the Northam Administration for its leadership and applaud the local governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and countless other stakeholders who helped develop this strong proposal to get Virginia across the 2025 finish line.”