EPA Asks Local Partners to Help Develop, Execute Final Phase of Bay Cleanup

A letter from the Environmental Protection Agency outlines its expectations for Bay cleanup and emphasizes the need for local government involvement in development of watershed improvement plans.

As the Chesapeake Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia near a midpoint assessment on Bay cleanup efforts, attention is shifting to the next phase.

In Phase III, the watershed states and D.C. will write action plans describing how they will reduce the remainder of the nutrient pollution by 2025, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has stressed the need for local government involvement in the third phase planning in a letter nicknamed the “Expectations Letter.”

As described by the Bay Journal,

This time around, the EPA is stressing the need to involve local decision makers — whether they be local governments, soil and water conservation districts, regional planning districts, nonprofit groups or others — in the development and execution of the watershed implementation plans.

Local buy-in has long been seen as critical to Bay nutrient and sediment reduction efforts, as decisions about land use and stormwater management, as well as the promotion of farm runoff control practices, are typically made at the local level.

For more information, see the EPA’s Expectations Letter, the Bay Journal article EPA letter to Bay states spells out cleanup expectations and the previous post on Conduit StreetThe Chesapeake Bay TMDL 2017 Midpoint Assessment Approaches.