The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) unveiled the state’s draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) on April 12 and the draft is now open for public comment.
Phase III WIP Background
The Phase III WIP outlines the water pollution reduction actions that need to be taken by the state and local governments in order to meet their nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment goals for the final 2025 deadline under the federally-mandated Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.
Maryland’s 2025 pollution reduction targets include 45.8 million pounds total nitrogen and 3.68 million pounds total phosphorus. Based on current progress, Maryland is on track to meet its phosphorus and sediment goals but will fall short of its nitrogen target by 780,000 pounds.
To overcome this shortfall, the Phase III WIP relies on two key strategies: (1) enhanced capacity from wastewater treatment plants; and (2) additional agricultural reductions beyond the Phase II WIP goals.
Phase III WIP Information Sessions
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology is hosting a series of free meetings and a webinar on the draft WIP. Further information on registering for one of these sessions can be found in the useful links below.
MDE is accepting public comments on the draft Phase III WIP from April 12 to June 7. The comments must be submitted through Google Docs at the following the following link:
NOTE: You must have a Google account in order to submit a public comment.
The final version Phase III WIP will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on August 9.
Maryland Draft Phase III WIP (Full Report)
Maryland Draft Phase III WIP (Executive Summary)
Conduit Street Article on Phase III WIP Information Sessions (Includes registration information)