In response to an inquiry from MACo concerning the status of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) , the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) provided an update letter on February 2. The letter discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent decision that the Bay model is not detailed enough to provide specific nutrient reduction goals by county. Instead, the EPA has defined five major watershed basins for Maryland and set nutrient reduction goals accordingly.
The letter also discusses the comment period and public meeting schedule for the Phase II WIP. (MAco also reported on this previously.) Finally, the letter briefly touches on anticipated State aid with WIP and TMDL costs. MDE mentions the proposed increase in the Bay Restoration Fund; modest funding for the State Highway Administation and Departments of Agriculture and Environment; increases in the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund for local soil conservation districts and other potential agricultural aid; capital budget grants for stormwater best management practices; and increases in the Maryland Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund and the Maryland Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund.