Chesapeake Bay watchdog criticizes Pa. over pollution reduction progress – WHYY

Chesapeake Bay watchdog criticizes Pa. over pollution reduction progress - WHYY
Report: Pennsylvania must do more to help Chesapeake Bay
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For an annual report card evaluating the 200-mile-long bay, researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 gave the Chesapeake a grade of 46% for 2018, down from 54% in 2017. All of the indicators factored into the bays health index declined or stayed flat last year. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

A nonprofit watchdog for the Chesapeake Bay said Pennsylvania isn’t on track to meet pollution reduction goals by 2025.

A new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said Pennsylvania’s plan to curb nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment flowing into the nation’s largest estuary falls about one-third short of the goal set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Demonstratable, scientific improvement is occurring not only in the Chesapeake Bay but also in the rivers and streams that feed into it, like the Susquehanna,” said Harry Campbell, executive director of the foundation’s Pennsylvania office. “The pace of implementation, the pace of improvement has not kept up.”

The report faults the state for not allocating enough money for the effort, especially to Pennsylvania’s family farms.

“Agricultural folks, as well as urban and suburban stormwater sectors, have not kept pace with that implementation and it’s because of the lack of investment. Overall sufficient investment in the resources [are] necessary to get the job done,” Campbell said.

In a statement, the state Department of Environmental Protection said best management practices in place across the commonwealth are not getting credit in the EPA’s accounting of pollution loads.

It said the plan provides reasonable assurance that Pennsylvania will meet its Chesapeake Bay commitments.

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FILE – In this May 12, 2010 file photo, a man looks out over the Chesapeake Bay, with the Bay Bridge in the background, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md. For an annual report card evaluating the 200-mile-long (322-kilometer-long) bay, researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 gave the Chesapeake a grade of 46% for 2018, down from 54% in 2017. All of the indicators factored into the bays health index declined or stayed flat last year. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) A nonprofit that tracks pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is once again lambasting Pennsylvania for not doing enough to protect the nations largest estuary. NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A nonprofit that tracks pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is once again lambasting Pennsylvania for not doing enough to protect the nation’s largest estuary.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released a report Tuesday that says Pennsylvania’s plan to reduce pollution is “woefully inadequate.”

States are tasked with keeping farm manure and storm water from flowing into the bay’s watershed. The pollution limits plant and animal life in the Chesapeake.

The Susquehanna River flows from Pennsylvania into the bay in Maryland. Last year, Pennsylvania officials acknowledged the “enormous challenge” of reducing runoff and said major efforts were underway.

The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring states in the bay’s watershed to fully implement a “pollution diet” for the Chesapeake by 2025.


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