The long-running effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay to health has reached a critical juncture. The current restoration effort known as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Bay established 2017 as the first of two key deadlines. By then, the state and federal partners were to have in place 60 percent of all projects, practices, and policies needed to reach final pollution reduction targets by 2025. Further, 2018 marks the end of the “midpoint assessment” period for the Bay TMDL, during which major policy decisions will be made to guide the Bay cleanup plan toward its completion in 2025.
CPR is keeping careful watch on this unfolding process and will preview and recap each of the forthcoming decisions, evaluations, and events as they happen. We've created a one-stop shop for all of our staff and Member Scholar analyses, organized into several themes, below. Click on the section headers for all the resources, and sign up here to get regular updates delivered to your email inbox.
Because past attempts to restore the Chesapeake Bay have repeatedly failed, EPA and the Chesapeake Bay states developed an “accountability framework” to keep states and federal partners on track with their pollution reduction targets under the new Cleanup Plan. But most states are lagging behind their targets, and we have ample reason to be concerned that EPA’s commitment to the Bay may also be wavering.
The 2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL committed the partner states to accounting for climate change in their cleanup planning. But in their final TMDL implementations plans, the states delayed until 2021 addressing the millions of additional pounds of nutrient pollution that scientists say will result from increased precipitation and warming waters.
Baltimore Sun Op-Ed: Bay Cleanup Must Factor in Climate Change. David Flores argues that Bay partners must take bold action to address climate-attributable pollution and increase resilience in the watershed.
The states are expected to develop programs to offset the new pollution associated with population and economic growth. But they failed to hold the line on pollution from new sources, making their job much harder as they try to reduce pollution from existing sources.
Pollution Growth CPRBlog Post: Clean Water Laws Need to Catch Up with Science. Evan Isaacson describes how regulators need to use modern technology and new scientific understandings about the sources of pollution in order to control the impact of development.
In Chesapeake restoration efforts, much of the attention is focused on reducing nutrient and sediment pollution. But many local waters and communities are threatened by a multitude of toxic water pollutants. Addressing threats to our most polluted waters and vulnerable communities requires regulation of emerging and toxic pollutants.