According to a new inter-organization study, all the jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay region are making progress meeting pollution reduction goals, but no jurisdiction is on track to implement all the pollution reduction practices they committed to achieve by 2013.
The analysis of selected interim 2012-13 milestone goals was conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC). The analysis is designed to ensure that commitments are being met, and if not, that actions will be taken to compensate for any shortfall.
In 2009 Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions, having missed restoration goals in the past, created two-year milestones designed to be transparent and provide accountability.
The CBF-CCWC report evaluates the interim progress toward achieving the 2012-13 milestone commitments. Together with pollution limits and state specific plans, this Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint outlines the path to the restoration of local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
The analysis looked at practices within three pollution source categories—agricultural runoff, urban/suburban sources, and wastewater treatment—based on their potential to provide substantial nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution reductions and offer important lessons for implementation moving forward.
In addition, CBF and CCWC believe that the next set of milestones, from 2014-15, should be reported at the basin or county level, as opposed to only at the state level. Local jurisdictions will play an important role in the restoration of local waterways, which is critical to long-term success.
Copies of the state-specific milestone analyses can be found at cbf.org/milestones
Of the eight practices evaluated, Pennsylvania was on track or exceeded its goals for three practices and fell short on five. Conservation plans, barnyard runoff control, and stormwater infiltration practices all exceeded the mid-term goal. Pennsylvania needs to accelerate issuance of permits for wastewater treatment plants. Forest buffers, conservation tillage, farm acres with nutrient management plans, and urban tree canopy goals significantly missed the mark.
Of the seven practices evaluated, Maryland exceeded or was on track to meet six goals, and lost ground on one. Animal waste management systems and grass buffers significantly exceeded the goals. Maryland is on track or ahead in cover crops, stormwater retrofits, and wastewater treatment plant and septic system upgrades. Nutrient management plan acreage was below the previous year.
Of the eight practices evaluated, Delaware exceeded four of its goals, and fell short on four. Wetland restoration, cover crops, traditional stormwater ponds, and infiltration practices all significantly exceeded the goals. Farm acres under nutrient management, grass buffers, septic systems, and wastewater treatment plants all fell short.
Of the six practices evaluated, the District of Columbia is on track or exceeded five goals, and fell short on one. Urban tree planting, traditional stormwater ponds, modern stormwater practices, reducing impervious surfaces, and urban stream restoration all exceed the goals. Street sweeping, which saw no increase over the previous year, is not on track to meet the goal.
Of the five practices evaluated, West Virginia is on track on four goals and behind in only one. Forest buffers, cover crops, and fencing cattle out of streams exceed the target, and wastewater treatment plants are on target to meet the 2013 milestone goals. Acres of farms under nutrient management is not on track to meet the goal.
Of the eight practices evaluated, Virginia is on track to meet five goals and behind on three others. Stream fencing and urban stream restoration significantly exceeded the goals, and traditional stormwater ponds and wastewater treatment plants are on target. While only achieving 42 percent of its forest buffer goal, the dramatic improvement over the previous milestone led CBF and CCWC to determine they are on track for this goal. Virginia fell short in grass buffers, conservation tillage, and modern stormwater practices.
source: Chesapeake Bay Foundation