An October 26 Baltimore Sun article discusses the possibility of Maryland altering its Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) deadline from 2020 to 2025. Currently, Maryland is the only affected state that has set a compliance date for its Bay TMDL goals earlier than 2025.
On Tuesday, members of the governor’s Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal suggested delaying the cleanup deadline – dropping back to the 2025 target previously agreed to by the other five states engaged in bay restoration. The members making those suggestions just happened to be [Governor Martin] O’Malley cabinet secretaries. …
Gov. Martin O’Malley called it a “stretch goal” in 2009 when he committed Maryland to reaching the state’s pollution-reduction goals five years earlier than the other states involved in the bay restoration effort. He said it was to “maintain our own sense of urgency” about the cleanup, which has dragged on for more than 25 years and repeatedly missed other goals.
Department of Natural Resources John Griffin first proposed the change, citing concerns over increasing funding sources too quickly and the inability of local governments to identify and implement all of the water quality projects necessary for them to meet their TMDL goals. Department of Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance also proposed pushing the deadline to 2025 or even 2030.
Kim Coble, Maryland director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, reacted cautiously to the suggested easing of the state’s cleanup deadline.
“If there is a sincere and focused effort to get all the tools in place, including incentives and regulations, then yes, 2025 is okay, ” she said. But not, she added, if the delay means state and local officials throttle back on cleanup efforts.
The article article also discusses a proposal by Secretary Griffin and other Task Force members to increase the Bay Restoration Fee.