August 1, 2018
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has released its most recent assessment of efforts in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to meet pollution-reduction milestones.
As part of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the six Bay states — New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia — and the District of Columbia vowed to implement the strategies needed to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams by 2025. The states also committed to two-year incremental goals called Milestones. These Milestones are critical components to restoration efforts because they provide the mechanism to hold government accountable for short-term progress toward their long-term pollution-reduction goals. They enable the states and EPA to identify shortcomings and take corrective action before the deadlines are reached.
According to information provided by CBF, the most recent CBF assessment of progress made implementing milestone commitments in 2017 found Maryland and Virginia largely on track to meet commitments for reducing pollution and Pennsylvania falling significantly short in reducing nitrogen pollution.
“While there is significant room for improvement in all the states, it is important to note that reduced pollution is benefitting the Bay. Over time, the dead zone is getting smaller, Bay grasses are at record levels, and oysters are rebounding,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “The success all three states have had in reducing pollution from sewage treatment plants is important, but it also masks shortfalls in each of the states’ efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture and urban/suburban runoff. Continued federal and state investments will be key to success on the state level, and we know the payoff will be significant.”
Under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the states have committed to implementing 60 percent of the practices necessary to restore the Bay by 2017, and 100 percent by 2025. Over the next year, the states and EPA will assess progress and develop new plans to achieve the 2025 goal.
The two-year milestones provide transparency and accountability for restoration efforts. This assessment is for the first year of the 2016-17 milestone period.
CBF’s assessment looked at the practices the states put in place in 2016, as well as selected programs each state has designed to achieve the long-term goals. Visit the CBF site for detailed information on the overall assessment and individual state performance.
View the EPA’s assessment of progress toward mid-point goals at the agency’s website.