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Webpage Accepting Public Comment on Proposed Chesapeake Bay Agreement

Wednesday July 10th, 2013

Townships in the Chesapeake Bay watershed may access a new webpage to monitor and participate in the development of the next version of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

This agreement covers only the voluntary side of how the affected states address the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. It does not affect the EPA total maximum daily load and watershed implementation plan mandates that were issued under the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint. (See below for more details on what the agreement is and how it affects local governments.)

Interested parties may provide input on the draft agreement between now and August 15 by:

  • submitting an online comment (up to 750 words) or
  • submitting an email to agreement@chesapeakebay.net.

If you are a PSATS member township and provide comments, please forward a copy to jwheeler@psats.org.

Click here for more information from the Chesapeake Bay Program website and to submit comments.

Click here for a direct link to the draft agreement.


Background:

Although EPA now has a court-ordered settlement agreement (the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint) that controls the regulatory side of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup strategy, many cleanup efforts are still done voluntarily by participating state and local jurisdictions.This voluntary document is known as the “Chesapeake Bay Agreement.”

The current version of this agreement was promulgated in 2000, long before a lawsuit resulted in the current Blueprint, which contains the requirements for local watershed improvement plans and pollution limits (total maximum daily loads) for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment discharges to the bay.

To reflect all that has happened since the 2000 agreement was signed, the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program recently embarked on the development of a new agreement.

PSATS has recommended that the new agreement include a goal to engage, empower, and facilitate leadership by local governments. This will allow local governments to demonstrate the many initiatives they have implemented to improve the bay and detail the additional financial resources needed to continue that effort.