Maryland Submits Draft Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Dawn Stoltzfus
(410) 537-3003

Maryland Submits Draft Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan

(Baltimore, Maryland) September 2, 2010 - The State of Maryland yesterday submitted its Phase I DRAFT Watershed Implementation Plan to the Environmental Protection Agency. This draft Plan was developed by the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Planning, using the State’s BayStat process, to comply with the new EPA Chesapeake Bay Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) requirements due by the end of this year. The agencies are now seeking public comment and input on the draft Plan and will hold four regional meetings over the next five weeks.

In the cover letter accompanying the document, the agency cabinet secretaries wrote: “As we submit our Plan to you, we also submit it to the people of Maryland for further review, scrutiny and comment. Bay restoration does not belong to scientists, government resource managers or any specific stakeholder group; it belongs to all the people of Maryland. Any successful plan will be an essential part of the fabric that links our environmental, economic and social systems together in mutually beneficial ways… By continuing to fully engage our citizens, we will be able to make the most informed decisions when our Final Plan is submitted at the end of November. ”

The Plan identifies75 strategy options to reduce nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediments from the wastewater, urban runoff, septics, agriculture and air pollution sectors. Maryland estimates that these strategies will provide a total reduction of9.48 million pounds of nitrogen, more than is needed to meet Maryland’s 70 percent reduction goal by 2017. The State deliberately outlined options that cumulatively exceed the 70-percent reduction needed so that it can refine the proposal after collecting public comment from September 24 through November 8.

After receiving public comment on these strategies, State officials will work to finalize Phase I. Actions to clean up Maryland’s waterways will also have an economic benefit. Upgrading wastewater treatment plants, retrofitting septic or stormwater management systems, installing “living” shorelines or planting cover crops are a few examples of projects in the Plan that would maintain or create jobs.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with the Bay watershed jurisdictions of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, New York, and the District of Columbia (DC), will establish a nutrient and sediment pollution budget for the Bay, consistent with Clean Water Act requirements, to guide and assist Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. This pollution budget is known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), or Bay TMDL. Concurrent with the development of the Bay TMDL, EPA charged the Bay watershed states and DC with developing watershed implementation plans that will provide “reasonable assurance” that the jurisdictions can and will achieve the nutrient and sediment reductions necessary to implement the TMDL within their respective boundaries.

Read the cover letter to the EPA and the Executive Summary of the draft Plan here:

The full Watershed Implementation Plan is posted at
http://www.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Marylanders are encouraged to attend the following regional meetings, hosted by Maryland’s Tributary Teams, to learn more about the Watershed Implementation Plan:

  • September 27, 2010, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
    South Hagerstown High School Auditorium
    1101 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 30, 2010, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Talbot County Community Center, Wye Oak Room
    10028 Ocean Gateway (US Rte 50) Easton, MD 21601
  • October 4, 2010, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    MD State Fair Grounds, DNR Bldg/State Fair Museum
    2200 York Road, Timonium, 21093 (Use the York Road gate)
  • October 6, 2010, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Prince George’s Soil Conservation District
    5301 Marlboro Race Track Road
    Upper Marlboro, 20772

 

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