Meeting Tuesday to "Chart a New Course" for Chesapeake
Presidential Order Calls for "Renewed Commitment" to Bay Cleanup

Proposed 2025 Deadline for Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Kalbird3 Another deadline for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, more than a decade and a half into the future?  After two blown deadlines already, that’s almost laughable. 

The Baltimore Sun is reporting today that Chesapeake Bay area states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during a meeting tomorrow will announce that they’ve agreed to a new “drop dead” deadline for cleaning up the Bay – in 2025.

“After failing repeatedly over the last 25 years to meet self-imposed deadlines for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, state and federal officials appear ready to set a new-drop dead date — 16 years from now. But they say what really matters is what they pledge to do in the next two years,” The Sun’s Timothy Wheeler reports.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow during the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting in Mount Vernon, Virginia. But it is critical that these two-year goals from the states be aggressive enough that they really accelerate the pace of Bay cleanup, and not simply reflect the status quo.

If the states do not propose aggressive two year goals, then EPA should step in and use its authority under the federal Clean Water Act to force stronger pollution controls.

All of this discussion of deadlines is happening again because EPA has already acknowledged that the 2010 deadline for cleaning up the Bay (set back in 2000) is not going to be met.  Before this deadline, federal and state officials back in 1987 picked the year 2000 as the original goal for finishing the Bay cleanup.

The problem with these long-term targets is that politicians can make them – knowing full well they’ll be long gone when the bill comes due.  Short term, specific cleanup plans are better. But EPA needs to back up any targets with real consequences if the states don’t keep their promises.
Any thoughts, Bay Daily readers?




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Bravo to the Sun for scooping this story, but I suggest we wait until the actual plan is unveiled, including the specific two-year targets, before we start criticizing it. I heard Tim Kaine speak at the Blue Planet Forum last week, and I remain optimistic that he and the other board members will propose a progressive cleanup plan.

Sixteen years into the future? That is laughable. It seems as that deadlines are actually "dead"-lines. As you said, the "goal" was pushed back to 2025 from 2010.. wait, no.. from 2000. I think I see a pattern happening here, but maybe we should wait and see what happens in 2025?

I'd like to think that states would develop aggressive goals, but how can that happen with everyone gushing over the Marcellus Shale...

What about the natural gas companies withdrawing so much water that they could negatively affect the proper wastewater stream dilution that is necessary (i.e. planned for in design)?

For my entire life they've been talking about "cleaning up the Bay." Now, they are saying it won't be clean until I am in my 50's. I fully agree that short term cleanup plans are better. I say a bevy of small scale plans including farm and urban run off reduction, phasing out of phosphorus and nitrogen from consumable goods, wetland and aquatic vegetation restoration, and other be implemented for 2 years, with a 3rd year for analysis to determine what works, then focus on those areas and set a final deadline.

I wrote to CBF (not on this blog) a few weeks ago saying, okay, you met with Lisa Jackson and you successfully sued the EPA, all the right things; but urging that the Obama administration and Lisa Jackson be given a chance to act. Now Lisa Jackson and the EPA have acted and we need to see what that means. But I still think, at least in the short term, that those of us who love and care about the Bay need to assume good faith on the part of the new administration and not jump into what might appear to be an adversarial position.

If, for example, the plans don't call for dealing with the chicken industry (not talking about small farmers here) on the Eastern Shore, then I think it will be time to take up signs again on the steps of the EPA.

I'll be on the water tomorrow morning with a small group of volunteers from the West/Rhode Riverkeeper taking water samples.

Let's see...

You have a ten-year goal and you want to now have two-year goals. Ten divided by two equals five. So the first two-year goal is one fifth of the ten-year goal. Rocket science for politicians and bureaucrats!

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