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Bay TMDL a Key Topic at Forums - The Chesapeake Bay TMDL was a key topic at two forums this week – the Choose Clean Water Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Jan. 11, and a meeting of the Virginia Joint Commission on Administrative Rules the following day. At the Clean Water Conference, EPA Bay TMDL Manager Bob Koroncai participated on a panel with state and local participants to discuss implementation plans and consequences associated with the TMDL. In Virginia, Bay Program Associate Director for Science Rich Batiuk provided legislators with an update on the recent TMDL public meetings and significant developments and opportunities.

EPA Outlines Potential Consequences if Commitments to Reduce Water Pollution Fall Short— EPA has sent a letter to the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia outlining consequences the agency could impose if those jurisdictions fall short on commitments to reduce water pollution. The letter is a key part of an accountability system to ensure needed steps are taken to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and the region's rivers, streams and creeks. EPA also announced it will provide technical assistance and an additional $11.2 million in grants for fiscal year 2010 to help the states and D.C. improve the performance and accountability of pollution control programs. Read the December 29 letter to the six watershed states and the District of Columbia (PDF) (12pg, 5.1M) and the Press Release.

Bay TMDL Public Meetings: 16th Added; Delaware Venue Changed— EPA has added a 16th public meeting for this fall to discuss the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. It will be held on Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, 723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia. It is the fifth public meeting scheduled in Virginia during this series, including one on the evening of Dec. 15 in Williamsburg. Also, the venue for the lone Delaware meeting has changed, though it will still be held on Dec. 10 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Laurel. The new venue is Laurel Senior High School, 1133 S. Central Avenue. For a full list of meetings, visit the Bay TMDL's Calendar of Events.

D.C. and Pennsylvania Meetings on Tap — Public meetings are scheduled in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania to outline the Bay TMDL “pollution diet.” The meetings, two of which feature webinars, are the latest in a series of sessions being held throughout the Bay watershed. For details on the meetings and to register for the webinars, see the Bay TMDL's Calendar of Events.

Key Letters Trigger Start of TMDL Planning — The U.S. EPA has issued a pair of letters that will allow the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia to begin preparation of pollution reduction plans to meet clean water standards. The letters outline preliminary targets for cuts in pollution as well as EPA’s expectations for plans to achieve the necessary reductions. To access the letters, visit the Bay TMDL's Resource Library.

First Bay 'Pollution Diet' Public Meetings Set for West Virginia — West Virginia is the site of the first in a series of public meetings to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) - a strict "pollution diet" to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its network of rivers, streams and creeks. EPA will hold 14 public meetings in this series throughout the watershed's six states and the District of Columbia from early November through mid-December 2009. Visit the Bay TMDL Calendar for a list of current public meetings.

High-Level Committee to Consider Key Bay TMDL Issues – State and federal environmental officials will meet on Friday, Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C. to consider “working targets” for pollution cuts necessary to meet clean water standards in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) will consider preliminary recommendations for slashes in nitrogen and phosphorus levels throughout the entire 64,000-square-mile watershed and within the states’ major river basins. The working targets, which will be subject to change based on new information in the coming months, will allow the states and the District to begin development of pollution-reduction plans. The PSC will get a preview of EPA’s upcoming guidance to the states for developing those plans and assuring target loads are met. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at 441 4th St. NW, Washington, D.C. (Above the Judiciary Square Metro station).

The Bay TMDL - a mandatory pollution diet for the 64,000-square-mile watershed is scheduled to be completed by December 2010. The first round of public meetings on the initiative will be held throughout the watershed begining November 4. Dates and locations for the meetings will be available soon. Check the Bay TMDL calendar for updates.

Forum to Feature Bay TMDL - Fresh from a Virginia public meeting/webinar on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL that drew an online and in-person audience of more than 400 people on Oct. 2, EPA will highlight the TMDL during a presentation at the annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum in Shepherdstown, W.Va. on Saturday morning, Oct. 10. PA Chesapeake Bay TMDL Manager Bob Koroncai will address the forum during its three-day gathering for watershed organizations, local government officials and others from around the multi-state Chesapeake Bay region.

Bay TMDL Federal Register Notice Published – A notice and initial request for public input on the Chesapeake Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) has been published in the Federal Register. The notice announces that EPA is starting the process of developing the TMDL, or “pollution diet” for nutrients and sediment in the Bay and its tributaries. A series of public meetings on the TMDL will be held in November and early December at dates and locations to be determined. A second public comment period will be held in the summer of 2010 once a draft TMDL is developed. Initial written or e-mailed comments are due by Dec. 18, 2009. The Federal Register Notice can be accessed at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-22410.pdf

Executive Order Draft Reports Released — Federal agencies have released draft reports required by the President’s Executive Order on the Chesapeake Bay, which contain a range of proposed strategies for accelerating cleanup of the nation’s largest estuary and its vast watershed. The proposed actions, calling for increased accountability and performance from pollution control, habitat protection and land conservation programs at all levels of government, are in response to overwhelming scientific evidence that the health of the Chesapeake remains exceptionally poor, despite the concerted restoration efforts of the past 25 years.The draft reports are the first step in the creation of a new strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and waterways in the region, as defined by the Executive Order.

Virginia to Host TMDL Meeting – On Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, federal and state officials will participate in a public meeting in Richmond, Va. from 1-4 p.m. to discuss an initiative that will drive actions to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waters. U.S. and Virginia officials will outline plans for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and answer questions from the public. The meeting will be held at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality central office at 629 E. Main St., Richmond. The public will also be able to access the meeting by phone and computer via Webinar or through a videocast at Virginia DEQ locations in Lynchburg, Woodbridge, Glen Allen, Virginia Beach and Harrisonburg. For more information, contact: Arthur J. Butt, Virginia DEQ, 804-698-4314, arthur.butt@deq.virginia.gov. Details on the Webinar

Virginia House Panel Hears TMDL Update – Chesapeake Bay Program Associate Director for Science Rich Batiuk provided the Virginia House Chesapeake Subcommittee with an update this week on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The Aug. 27 presentation was part of a two-day retreat held by the subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources in Gloucester, Va. For more information, visit our Calendar of Events.

Bay TMDL on Watershed Forum Agenda – What is the Chesapeake Bay TMDL? How will it impact me? Those questions and others will be addressed at a session of the 2009 Chesapeake Watershed Forum. The forum will be held from Friday, Oct. 9 to Sunday, Oct. 11 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WVa. The TMDL discussion is scheduled for Saturday morning. For more information on the forum, see our Calendar of Events.

Bay TMDL Web Site Debuts – EPA Region 3 has launched a web site with news and information about the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load – a major initiative to establish and oversee achievement of a pollution diet that will drive actions to clean local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. The web site address is: www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl

Podcast Focuses on Bay TMDLA podcast outlining the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and the challenges it will address in restoring the Bay and its network of waterways is available on the EPA Region 3 web site at www.epa.gov/region3 . The audio podcast features comments by Bob Koroncai, EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL manager, and Rich Batiuk, associate director for science at EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

Maryland Association of Counties to Get Bay Restoration Update – The Maryland Association of Counties will hear the latest information on two major initiatives to restore the Chesapeake Bay – the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and the Executive Order signed by President Obama. The association’s meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Ocean City, Md.

Local Government Officials Participate in Bay TMDL Webconference – Members of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee participated in a webconference on Aug. 4 to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and the important role of local governments in the process of achieving pollution reductions.

Bay TMDL on Tap at Upcoming Events – The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load will be a topic of discussion at a variety of upcoming forums. Check the calendar on the Bay TMDL web site http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl for the latest information.

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