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Clean up the Streams, Clean Up the Bay

Maryland To Hold Public Hearings on Pollution Reduction Plan

Chesapeake glittering in sunsetHow to allow economic growth and still reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay?
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is holding a series of public hearings over the next two months on the state’s proposed plan for managing pollution from new residential and commercial developments while still meeting new pollution limits for the Bay created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 2010. 
These limits call for a roughly 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution into the estuary by 2025.  Maryland and the other Bay states have written up plans for meeting these limits that are like blueprints for saving the Bay.
“Restoring Chesapeake Bay requires not only that we reduce the current amount of pollution entering the Bay, but that we hold the line against new pollution,” MDE says in its draft plan for managing growth within its cleanup blueprint. “Because population growth and new development add (pollution) to what is already entering the Bay from development-related sources, the (state’s blueprint) also requires that the new or increased loads be offset by reductions elsewhere, so there is no net increase the amount of nutrient and sediment pollution entering the Bay.”

To learn more about Maryland’s proposal, click here
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation believes this is the moment in time to restore the health of the nation’s largest estuary, and that these state blueprints for meeting the federal pollution limits are critically important.  These state plans need to be well funded, and any plans for offsetting growth must be based on sound science and must include mechanisms for transparency and accountability.
Our children, and our children’s children, won’t forgive us if we ignore this opportunity to finally finish the job with the Chesapeake Bay.
To learn more about CBF’s analysis on Maryland’s pollution reduction blueprint (also called the state “Watershed Implementation Plan” ) click here.  
The hearings on Maryland’s proposal will be held in the following times and locations:
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture
1114 Shawan Road
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030

Thursday, August 2, 2012
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Washington College, Hodson Hall, Hyson Lounge
300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown, Maryland 21620

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Gudelsky Environmental Education Center
1020 Old Frederick Road
Woodstock, Maryland 21163

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012
5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washinton Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Public comments on the plan are due by October 1, 2012, and should be emailed to afg@mde.state.md.us or via traditional mail to Paul Emmart at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore MD 21230-1718.

By Tom Pelton

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

(Photo at top from Chesapeake Bay Program)



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