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EPA released on March 30 guidance for the six states sharing the Chesapeake Bay watershed and a commitment to restore the estuary and detailed plans to sharply reduce nutrients and sediment over the next five years. The EPA Guide for Chesapeake Bay Jurisdictions for the Development of Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans directs the states and the District of Columbia to develop plans for reducing the pollutants to levels specified in EPA's Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load mandate. Phase II will be the second of three implementation phases that result in completion, by 2025, of all infrastructure, land use practices, and policies necessary for restoration of the bay's ecosystem.

 

The EPA guidance directs the states and District of Columbia to:

·         Facilitate total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation by dividing the statewide pollutant allocations into local areas, such as counties or sub-watersheds.

·         Describe how the states will work with governments, farmers, developers, and others in each local area to reduce their nutrient and sediment outflows; and

·         Identify the key local, state, and federal partners who will be involved in reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads to meet the states' TMDL allocations.