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EPA Announces Public Meetings on Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet’

Release Date: 09/08/2010
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

(PHILADELPHIA – September 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to hold 18 public meetings this fall to discuss the draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – a strict “pollution diet” to restore local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.

“We encourage the public to continue to provide input as EPA moves forward in finalizing and implementing this blueprint for restoration,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Restoring the Chesapeake Bay and the waterways that connect to it will not be easy, and every citizen in the Bay watershed has a stake and a role in this process.”

The Bay TMDL will set binding limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed to meet clean water standards for the Bay and its tidal tributaries and help restore local rivers and streams.

At the public meetings, EPA officials will outline the draft Bay TMDL and highlight key provisions designed to ensure that by 2025 all practices that are necessary to fully restore the bay are in place, with 60 percent of the actions taken by 2017.

EPA will also receive comments and answer questions from the public at the meetings, which are part of an official 45-day public comment period on the draft TMDL ending November 8. In addition, officials from the respective states and D.C. are expected to participate in the meetings to discuss their draft implementation plans to achieve and maintain the necessary pollution reductions. The implementation plans were submitted to EPA last week and are being used to help the agency shape details of the TMDL.

The draft Bay TMDL will be issued on Sept. 24. Instructions for submitting formal written comments to EPA will be included on the Bay TMDL web site - http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl - and contained in an upcoming Federal Register Notice. A final Bay TMDL will be established by Dec. 31, 2010.

The public meetings will be held across the six watershed states, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New York, and the District of Columbia from late September to early November. One meeting in each state will be accessible online via webinar.

The public meetings are scheduled for:

    Washington, D.C., September 29, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.*
    Harrisonburg, Virginia, October 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Annandale, Virginia, October 5, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Richmond, Virginia, October 6, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Webinar, October 7, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    Hampton, Virginia, October 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Georgetown, Delaware, October 11, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.*
    Easton, Maryland, October 12, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Annapolis, Maryland, October 13, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Hagerstown, Maryland, October 14, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.*
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania, October 18, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    State College, Pennsylvania, October 19, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Williamsport, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.*
    Ashley, Pennsylvania, October 21, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Elmira, New York, October 26, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Binghamton, New York, October 27, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.*
    Martinsburg, West Virginia, November 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Romney, West Virginia, November 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.*
* Meeting also broadcast online via webinar.

Complete information on the meetings, including venues, directions and webinar registration links, can be found on the Bay TMDL web site. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.