In a letter to MACo dated July 9, Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland’s 1st District raised a number of issues and concerns with the ongoing implementation of the Chesapeake Bay’s “pollution diet” and the Total Maximum Daily Load requirements established by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and overseen by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
From the letter:
Real progress in conservation is most often made by partnerships between federal, state, and local efforts, rather than unfunded mandates from unelected bureaucrats. Unfortunately, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Water Resources, the assistant to the EPA Administrator admitted that, in the absence of federal and state funding, local governments will nonetheless be forced to comply, potentially forcing increased taxes and possibly layoffs of teachers and police officers.
On his letter, Congressman Harris responded directly to local concerns with a specific and personal note: “Flexibility at the local level is key for these programs to succeed, and I will work for that flexibility.”
Interested parties are reminded that Watershed Implementation Plans are a topic of a workshop at the upcoming MACo summer conference:
Thursday, August 16 3:00 pm ‐ 4:00 pm
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ~ Maryland’s Watershed Implementation Plan: Lots to Do in Phase II
The federally mandated Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements for reducing nutrient and sediment runoff into the Chesapeake Bay outline three implementation phases, each requiring a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). Under the Phase II WIP, the State and counties are struggling to detail and implement the necessary steps to meet their interim 2017 nutrient and sediment goals. Speakers will discuss the status and timeline of the Phase II WIP and offer advice on the logistical and cost challenges that counties are facing.