WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released draft guidance for federal lands management in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that describes the most effective tools and practices to reduce water pollution. In addition to federal lands, the guidance addresses a variety of nonpoint sources, including agricultural lands, urban and suburban areas, and septic systems.

The draft guidance, which is required by the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order, provides federal land managers with a guide to implementing the best proven tools and practices to restore and protect the region’s waterways and the Bay. The same techniques can be utilized by states, local governments, conservation districts, watershed organizations, developers, farmers and citizens in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Public comment on the draft guidance will be accepted for 30 days. EPA will then revise the document for release with a strategy for Chesapeake Bay protection and restoration in May 2010. The draft guidance is available at www.epa.gov/nps/chesbay502/.