On February 8, a coalition of environmental groups released a barometer for each county’s proposed Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The WIP describes how the county will reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment runoff into the Chesapeake Bay under the federally mandated Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). From the Clean Maryland Waters blog:
We know clean local rivers and streams matter. But how do we know whether our county is on track to clean local waters? Barometers released today answer that question. They show what progress counties have made and what it will take to finish the job. Counties have between now and July to improve or refine their local plans. The counties’ submissions fell into four broad categories. Click on the county name to read their barometer:
- “A Strong Start, Let’s Put it to Work” – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, and Montgomery.
- “A Good Start, Much Work Remains” – Baltimore City, Howard, Kent, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Talbot.
- “A Plan is Emerging, Significant Work Ahead” – Harford, Queen Anne’s, and Wicomico.
- “Much Work Ahead for Clean Local Waters” – Allegany, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Somerset, Washington, and Worcester.
From a February 9 1000 Friends of Maryland press release:
“Every county in Maryland submitted a draft plan to reduce its share of water pollution in local waters and the Chesapeake Bay, and we are encouraged that every county has begun this important process,” explained Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of 1000 Friends of Maryland. “These barometers are intended to help citizens understand what progress their county has made and what it will take to finish the job.” …
Coalition experts worked with a planning consultant to review the county plans. The expert team then had conversations with advocates from each county to ensure that the analysis reflected local efforts on the ground. The counties were evaluated against three main factors:
- Does the plan compute – does the plan provide a measurable path toward long-term pollution reduction targets?
- Are there short-term commitments – does the plan list the actions each county needs to take in the next two years (2-year milestones)?
- Will it be paid for – does the plan list the funding needed to cover the local costs of reducing the county’s share of pollution?
February 9 Baltimore Sun blog post coverage