An article in the November Edition of the Chesapeake Bay Journal describes the opposing viewpoints and concerns generated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) draft Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the Chesapeake Bay.
At public meetings and in written comments, citizens and organizations from across the watershed – and across the nation – are staking out positions regarding the draft Bay cleanup plan released by the EPA Sept. 24.
Many environmentalists have praised the plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, saying its tougher approach to curbing Bay pollution is long overdue. But the plan is drawing fire from farm organizations, homebuilders and local governments who believe the planned actions will be too burdensome and costly.
Thousands of people turned out for a series of public meetings the EPA conducted throughout the watershed in October. Speakers voiced deep passion on each side of the issue. …
The TMDL has sparked widespread concern from a host of interests, such as wastewater treatment plant operators, who would face huge expenses if they had to make upgrades beyond those already required, and agricultural organizations, who fear they will be subjected to additional state regulations.
Whether the EPA’s push ultimately pays off with a stronger cleanup effort will likely be determined in the courts. Groups are already organizing to file legal challenges.
Concerns about the TMDL have spread across the country, as organizations see it as a precedent for other regions.