ANNAPOLIS, MD. — All the jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay region are making progress meeting pollution reduction goals, but no jurisdiction is on track to implement all the pollution reduction practices they committed to achieve by 2013. The analysis of selected interim 2012-13 milestone goals was conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC). This analysis is designed to ensure that commitments are being met, and if not, that actions will be taken to compensate for any shortfall.
“This interim analysis is important because it celebrates the areas where states are exceeding the goals, but also shines a light on areas needing improvement,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “While no state met the mark, and Pennsylvania and Delaware missed on half or more of the goals we evaluated, all jurisdictions had the opportunity to alter their plans to reach their 2013 pollution reduction goals. That information, however, is not currently available.”
In 2009 Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions, having missed restoration goals in the past, created two-year milestones designed to be transparent and provide accountability. This report evaluates the interim progress toward achieving the 2012-13 milestone commitments. Together with pollution limits and state specific plans, this Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint outlines the path to the restoration of local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
The analysis looked at practices within three pollution source categories — agricultural runoff, urban/suburban sources, and wastewater treatment — based on their potential to provide substantial nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution reductions and offer important lessons for implementation moving forward.
“We are encouraged that states are working to reach their milestones and, in some cases, significant progress has been made,” said Hilary Harp Falk, co-chair of Choose Clean Water Coalition. “However, after reviewing the data, it is clear that we need verification protocols to help local, state, and federal programs ensure that practices are properly designed, installed, and maintained over time.”
In addition, CBF and CCWC believe that the next set of milestones, from 2014-15, should be reported at the basin or county level, as opposed to only at the state level. Local jurisdictions will play an important role in the restoration of local waterways, which is critical to long-term success.