At the meeting of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland on September 23, keynote speaker and Secretary of the Maryland State Department of the Environment Robert Summers reviewed a number of initiatives and efforts of the Department and the O’Malley Administration. Among the issues he raised of direct interest to county governments was a revised timetable for the required county submissions of the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP), required under federal EPA limits of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
According to Secretary Summers, counties will now have until July 2012 to submit the Phase II WIP — a detailed plan to address and reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment entering the Bay from county point and nonpoint sources. Until this announcement, many counties had been concerned that a deadline for submission of these county plans before the end of 2011 was unreachable.
The target loads for each county were only released to county governments in mid-September, after multiple rounds of delays by the federal EPA.
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