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Agencies Release Recommendations For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Publication Date: 9/16/2009
Author: Pam Hunter
Format: HTML

Federal agencies have released seven draft reports aimed at creating a framework for the cleanup of Chesapeake Bay. Among the recommendations are new, more stringent regulations for controlling stormwater runoff and stricter enforcement of existing regulations. Despite efforts over the past 25 years to clean up the Chesapeake, the bay remains severely polluted with nitrogen and phosphorous from urban and agricultural runoff. The landmark Chesapeake Bay agreement—a voluntary pledge signed in 2000 by the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia as well as by the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the mayor of Washington, D.C.—was the first effort to approach coordinated cleanup throughout the entire watershed. However, that plan has been widely criticized as unsuccessful: the latest “State of the Bay” report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation rated the bay’s health at 28 out of a possible 100 points. President Barack Obama issued an executive order in May to force federal agencies to develop an integrated strategy with teeth for restoring the bay to health.

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