Katherine Antos from the United State’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Chesapeake Bay Program Office addressed the MACo Legislative Committee on March 3. Ms. Antos discussed the forthcoming total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements for the Bay.
TMDLs are limits on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment that can be discharged into the Bay or a tributary of the Bay. All of the Bay states and their local governments will have to abide by these limits, which will vary by watershed. Limits will be set for both point and nonpoint sources to meet Bay water quality standards. Ms. Antos noted that final TMDL numbers will be released in December. The states must have the first phase of their Watershed Implementation Plans complete by November. The Plans will describe how the State and local governments will meet the TMDLs, including 2-year milestones to assess progress. The Maryland Department of the Environment will be the primary implementing agency at the State level.
Ms. Antos also discussed the technical and potential monetary assistance that may be available from the federal government, and the potential consequences for failing to meet the milestones. She stated that the most likely consequences would be the denial of federally issued permits, revocation of a state’s permit issuance authority, and the withholding of federal funding for environmental programs.