EPA Administrator Recommits Agency to Leading Federal Partners Into Next Phase of Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

As the partnership to clean up the Chesapeake Bay nears its 2025 deadline, EPA Administrator Michael Regan today renewed the agency’s commitment to leading the many federal agencies working together to restore the Bay into the next chapter of cleanup effort.   

Regan spoke in response to a question from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) at today’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on EPA’s fiscal year 2025 budget request. 

Cardin asked if Regan and EPA would commit to reinstating the EPA-led Federal Leadership Committee, which was created in 2009 under a Chesapeake Bay restoration executive order signed by President Obama. The Committee developed and coordinated the work of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, and Transportation under what became the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement

Regan said EPA would "absolutely" reconstitute the committee "for a fall meeting." Regan added, "We see it as a huge opportunity to get all the executives around the table and be sure that we're pursuing those goals that you and others would like us to pursue."

Since 2010, the federal government, the six Bay states, and the District of Columbia have been working to meet the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint's 2025 deadline for adopting the policies and practices to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution to the Bay and its waterways. Despite significant water quality improvements, the partners are unlikely to meet most of these goals by 2025.   

EPA administers the federal Chesapeake Bay Program, which coordinates the cleanup effort. The Bay Program also provides grant funding for restoration and research activities among a wide range of federal, state, and local government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations across the Bay’s six-state watershed.   

EPA’s fiscal 2025 budget calls for Congress to continue funding the Bay Program at $92 million annually.  

Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President and CEO Hilary Harp Falk issued the following statement:  

“CBF thanks Administrator Regan for his commitment to reviving the Federal Leadership Committee. Fifteen years ago this month, the panel first charted the course for coordinating among the federal Bay cleanup partners. It can again play an indispensable role guiding the federal partners into the next chapter of restoration.  

“The Chesapeake Bay restoration effort has reached a crossroads. Determining where we go from here will require bold leadership and expertise from across the federal government. The task is bigger than tackling water quality issues. We must also reimagine how we care for the Bay’s plants and wildlife, address toxic contaminants, fight climate change, and ensure clean water and benefits for all of the 18 million people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed."

Lisa Caruso 90x110

Lisa Caruso

Washington, D.C. Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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