LGAC Charts Local Path For Bay TMDL Final Phase

The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) met on October 5 and 6 to prepare recommendations regarding local government participation and concerns in meeting Chesapeake Bay Agreement goals, including the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) for the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The meeting took place in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

LGAC is part of the Chesapeake Bay Program and advises the Executive Council on local government engagement, challenges, and needs in meeting Bay water quality and habitat goals. Its membership includes county and municipal representatives from all six bay watershed states and the District of Columbia.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agency representatives briefed LGAC on the Bay TMDL midpoint assessment, including how additional pollution loads from growth, the Conowingo Dam, and climate change would be incorporated into the pending local water goals that will be issued by EPA. One proposal regarding the Conowingo Dam load would add the load to the Susquehanna River basin and those basins where it would be most “cost effective” to treat the loads (primarily the upper eastern and western shore areas in Maryland).

Each Bay state also reported out on their local engagement efforts and current best practices and challenges. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay discussed its local watershed education and capacity building project. In Maryland, the Alliance will be working directly with MACo on curriculum development for local elected officials. Another presentation addressed alternative financing for stormwater projects.

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp participated in the meeting on behalf of Maryland’s counties. For further information, please contact Les at 410.269.0043 or lknapp@mdcounties.org.

Useful Links

LGAC Webpage

Chesapeake Bay Program Website