EPO: Pa. Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan ‘Fails to Meet Partnership Goals’

The US Environmental Protection Agency has rejected A third plan by Pennsylvania environmental officials aimed to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Pennsylvania third try in obtaining approval for a Watershed improvement planas part of an ongoing multistate Partnership to reduce pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay has been opposed by federal environmental officials who said the plan does not “fully show” how the Commonwealth will meet its 2025 goals to restore the bay.

In a statement released Monday, the EPA said Pennsylvania still falls short of its targets despite increased funding for pollution-reduction projects in recent years state budget.

“Although Pennsylvania has provided additional details on new sources of funding in the 2022-2023 Commonwealth Budget, plans for federal infrastructure funding, additional existing state programs that could result in cuts, and ongoing BMP innovation efforts [best management practices] Verification, follow-up and reporting between the draft and the final amended Phase III WIPs did not result in these changes significantly enhancing the proposed implementation.” is the evaluation. “Pennsylvania has not provided a final plan that demonstrates sufficient acceleration of implementation to meet its 2025 goal.”

Pennsylvania still has a 9.3 million pound nitrogen shortfall to fill, federal officials said.

Pennsylvania’s failure to meet agreed pollution reduction targets set in the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint led to a 2020 legal action from other Bay states who argued that the EPA had not done enough to ensure the Keystone state kept its end of the bargain.

Bay States is filing lawsuit against EPA for failing to hold Pa., NY accountable for Chesapeake Bay restoration goals

In a statement, Alison Prost, vice president of environmental protection and restoration at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said the state “Farmers and communities have shown they are willing to do what needs to be done when the resources are available. That year, the Commonwealth increased its funding for agricultural conservation practices. While this wave of funding is an important first step, farmers and communities need reassurance that funding will be available year after year.

“Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s recent plan to clean up its rivers and creeks still lacks the laudable pollution reduction strategies and sustained funding needed to implement those strategies,” Prost continued. “And while we appreciate EPA’s renewed commitment to the partnership through oversight and support, that alone will not be enough to get Pennsylvania across the finish line.

“Support must also include accountability. EPA’s failure to adequately hold Pennsylvania accountable is why CBF, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are suing EPA. We remain hopeful that negotiations in this event will result in the necessary actions and sustainable funding needed to restore clean water, improve the local economy and preserve Pennsylvania’s way of life,” concluded Prost.