The Future is
at a Crossroads
Among the hallmarks of the Blueprint are
transparency and accountability (see page 6).
As part of the Blueprint, the Bay states and
the District of Columbia have committed
to two-year “milestone” efforts to reduce
their respective nitrogen, phosphorus, and
sediment pollution to the Chesapeake Bay
incrementally and to track the pace of
those reductions—here is that transparency and accountability. The goal is to
have 60 percent of the reductions in place
by 2017 to restore water quality and the
practices to achieve 100 percent of the
reductions in place by 2025. These milestones provide short-term objectives and
allow for the public to monitor progress.
The current milestone period is 2014-2015.
This summer, CBF, in partnership with the
Choose Clean Water Coalition, released our
assessment of the interim progress the states
have made. The results are mixed.
For sure, there is much to celebrate.
Virginia and Maryland, in particular, are,
overall, on track to meet their 2015 targets.
This is not to suggest their job is done. It is
not. The chart at right tells us that both
have work to do to catch up on reducing
urban and suburban polluted runoff—
what many call stormwater. This sort of
polluted runoff—which occurs when rain
or snowmelt flows over “hard” surfaces like
driveways, streets, and roofs and is
deposited directly into waterways—is
nasty stuff. Often warmed, stormwater can
carry hazardous wastes, bacteria and other
pathogens, and sediment that clouds water
and destroys habitat. We need this dangerous source of pollution to be controlled.
Luckily, most of the states are well ahead of
schedule on reducing pollution from
sewage treatment facilities. In fact, they are
so far ahead of schedule that progress
reducing pollution from this sector makes
up for lack of progress in other sectors. But
there is much to cause concern.
2017 midpoint goals, the Commonwealth
must take meaningful actions right now.
The most significant shortfall is in pollution running off agricultural areas, so this
is where the solutions lie. CBF believes if
the Commonwealth does not accelerate
efforts, EPA must specify what actions
it will take to ensure pollution is
reduced. Indeed, unless there are consequences for failure, we are in danger of
repeating the decades of failed Bay
restoration efforts of the 1983, 1987,
and 2000 Bay agreements.
Are we on-track to achieve the 2017 pollution-reduction goals?
N/A WEST VIRGINIA
BAY STATE POLLUTANT AGRICULTURE SEPTIC ALL SOURCES URBAN/SUBURBAN POLLUTED RUNOFF WASTEWATER & CSO
For example, the sad fact is that
Pennsylvania is falling dangerously
short of meeting its pollution-reduction
commitments. The Commonwealth’s
lack of adequate progress matters locally
and to all of us because the
Susquehanna River carries half of the
fresh water into the Bay and 40 percent
of the nitrogen pollution.
As the familiar refrain suggests, “As goes
the Susquehanna, so goes the Chesapeake
Bay.” To meet its 2015 milestone and
; ON TRACK FOR 2017 TARGET ; WITHIN 10% OF BEING ON TRACK ; MORE THAN 10% OFF TRACK
Source: Analyses are based on EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Watershed Model 5. 3. 2