(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Today at the Chesapeake Bay Commission meeting, EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Director Dana Aunkst addressed the 2025 deadline and said that the goals of restoring the Bay by implementing the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, otherwise known as the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, were merely aspirational and not legally enforceable. In response, Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued this statement.
"For the head of EPA’s Bay Program to say pollution limits designed to save the Bay are merely aspirational and not legally enforceable should put fear in the hearts of all who care about clean water. The Clean Water Act requires that EPA set limits on pollution entering local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, a federal court has held that state plans developed to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint must have reasonable assurance that they will succeed.
"In the past, EPA has said it will ensure that the state plans in place will do the job, and if not, it will impose consequences. This federal oversight has helped push the states to effect policy changes and invest substantial resources to try to restore local water quality as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
"EPA’s retreat is yet another signal that the Administration does not value clean water and clean air. This position minimizes the significant financial and personal efforts some states, local governments, businesses, and individuals have taken to ensure that the Blueprint goals are met. If EPA does not fulfill its responsibilities to the region’s residents and the American public, the Bay will never be saved."