MDE recognizes 41 years of clean water progress and reminds Marylanders to do their part to Reclaim the Bay

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MDE recognizes 41 years of clean water progress and reminds Marylanders to do their part to Reclaim the Bay

BALTIMORE, MD (October 18, 2013) – Today marks the 41st  anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act, legislation that has been instrumental in improving the health of rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters throughout Maryland and the nation. This landmark legislation ensured that all Americans have access to clean, pollution-free drinking water.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed states will celebrate their own clean water milestone this year with the 30th anniversary of the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement.  The Agreement was the first pledge by political leaders to work together to restore the Chesapeake Bay.  In the years since the agreement was signed, significant progress has been made in identifying and eliminating harmful pollutants from our waterways and developing meaningful programs that help track our progress and measure our success. To date, Maryland has achieved 75 percent of its 2025 pollution reduction goals.

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Under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland has seen a cleaner and healthier Chesapeake Bay. Last year Marylanders planted 408,000 acres of cover crops, retrofitted stormwater management on 72,000 acres of urban land and exceeded wastewater treatment plant goals for nitrogen and phosphorous reduction by 2 million pounds and 27,000 pounds respectively.

Core Facts
  • Nonpoint source pollution is one of the major contributors to the degradation of Maryland’s waterways and the violation of water quality standards.

  • MDE oversees Maryland’s Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, a fund of more than $2 billion used to offer low-interest loans for water quality projects across Maryland. The fund has received nearly $900 million in Federal grants in connection with programs the Clean Water Act and created more than 1,000 jobs in Maryland each year since 1990.

  • Maryland’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget includes $68 million to accelerate both State and local efforts to improve Bay health through the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Trust Fund.

  • In 2010, working with Maryland and all the Bay watershed states, the EPA established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, the largest TMDL since the CWA originated the TMDL assessment as a pollution control measure.

  • Maryland has achieved its 2013 nitrogen and sediment targets in the Chesapeake Bay Program two-year milestones.

  • The Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) submitted by watershed states to the EPA spell out reduction plans for the pollutants the Bay TMDL targets and timetables for their completion. In collaboration with Maryland local governments and stakeholders, MDE is working to implement Phase II of Maryland’s WIP.

  • Stormwater pollution is responsible for 18 percent of the Nitrogen pollution that finds its way into our State’s waters.

  • You can help protect water quality by knowing and reducing the contaminants associated with nonpoint source pollution such as:

    • Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas;
    • Gasoline, oil, grease and chemicals from urban runoff; Sediment from construction sites, croplands and forestlands and eroding streambanks;
    • Acid drainage from abandoned mines;
    • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and septic systems;
    • Air pollution that deposits in waterways is also a source of nonpoint source pollution.
Quotes

"In the years since the signing of the Clean Water Act and the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement, Maryland has made tremendous progress in restoring our local waterways and the Bay; however, there is still important work to be done. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, we have set aggressive and measurable restoration milestone goals and we are tracking them in BayStat to make sure they are being achieved in the most cost-effective manner possible. Every Marylander both young and old must learn to respect our waterways and do their part to care for this essential natural resource."       

 --Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment


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Contacts

Samantha Kappalman
samantha.kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson
jay.apperson@maryland.gov

(410) 537-3003

MDE Mission
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.