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Chesapeake Bay TMDL

Key Developments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

EPA Provides Final Evaluations on Interim Progress (June 30, 2016) - EPA provided its final evaluations to the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions on their interim progress toward meeting their 2016-2017 Milestones and Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals. EPA also provided a final evaluation to the federal agencies of interim progress toward meeting their 2016-2017 milestones set forth under the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order 13508 strategy. These WIP goals and milestones outline steps the jurisdictions and federal agencies are taking to have all pollution control measures in place by 2025 to fully restore the Bay. By the end of 2017, practices should be in place to meet 60 percent of the necessary pollution reductions compared to 2009.  

Read the EPA interim evaluations of 2016-2017 milestone progress.


EPA Provides Final Evaluations on Progress (June 17, 2016) - EPA provided its final evaluations to the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions on their progress toward meeting their 2014-2015 Milestones and Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals. EPA also provided a final evaluation to the federal agencies of progress toward meeting their 2014-2015 milestones set forth under the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order 13508 strategy.  These WIP goals and milestones outline steps the jurisdictions and federal agencies are taking to have all pollution control measures in place by 2025 to fully restore the Bay. By 2017, practices should be in place to meet 60 percent of the necessary pollution reductions.  

Read the EPA final evaluations of 2014-2015 milestone progress.


Steep Cuts in Wastewater Pollution Leading Way in Chesapeake Bay Restoration; Sector Meeting 2025 Pollution Limits 10 Years Early (June 14, 2016) - Upgrades and operational efficiencies at wastewater treatment plants throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed have achieved steep reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, putting this sector at the forefront of Bay restoration.  The wastewater sector has reduced nitrogen going to the Bay by 57 percent and phosphorus by 75 percent since 1985 and, for the first time, is effectively meeting its 2025 nutrient pollution limits in the landmark Chesapeake Bay TMDL, according to Chesapeake Bay Program analysis.

Read more about wastewater pollution reduction in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


Supreme Court Declines to Hear Bay TMDL Challenge (February 29, 2016) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, letting stand a ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the clean water plan. In a statement, EPA said, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. In doing so, the court has confirmed that EPA’s action is authorized by and consistent with the Clean Water Act. We can now continue to build on the progress made in restoring local waters and the Bay. While significant progress has been made, much more needs to be done and EPA remains committed to revitalizing this national treasure through the collaborative federal-state framework with the six Bay states and D.C.”

View the docket for the case on the U.S. Supreme Court website.


2016-2017 Milestones and 2014-2015 Milestone Progress Updates Submitted for Review (January 15, 2016) - EPA has received for review the 2016-2017 milestone commitments and 2014-2015 milestone progress updates submitted by Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions and federal agencies. The two-year milestones represent key check-in points on the way to having all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers in place by 2025. EPA evaluations of the documents are expected to be completed by late spring.

View the Milestones and Progress Updates.


EPA Issues Reports on Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia Animal Agriculture Programs (August 31, 2015) - EPA announced it has completed evaluations of Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia animal agriculture programs - the final three of six such evaluations released this year. In March, EPA released its assessments of animal agriculture programs in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the other three states in the Bay watershed. The District of Columbia does not have a similar program. EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs as part of its oversight responsibilities under the Clean Water Act.

Read EPA's assessments of animal agriculture programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Unanimous Federal Court Decision Upholds Chesapeake Bay TMDL (July 6, 2015) - The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a legal challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, ruling that EPA’s action is authorized by, and consistent with the Clean Water Act.  

In a statement, EPA called the unanimous decision, which affirms a 2013 lower court ruling, “a victory for the 18 million people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We can all now as partners continue to build on the progress made in restoring local waters and the Bay.  We remain committed to revitalizing this national treasure through the collaborative federal-state framework with the six Bay states and Washington, D.C.” 

Read the July 6, 2015 Chesapeake Bay TMDL court decision.


EPA Provides Interim Evaluations on Progress (June 10, 2015) - EPA provided its interim assessments to the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions on their progress toward meeting their 2014-2015 Milestones and Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals.

EPA also provided an interim evaluation to the federal agencies of progress toward meeting their 2014-2015 milestones set forth under the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order 13508 strategy.  These WIP goals and milestones outline steps the jurisdictions and federal agencies are taking to have all pollution control measures in place by 2025 to fully restore the Bay. By 2017, practices should be in place to meet 60 percent of the necessary pollution reductions.

Read the EPA interim evaluations of 2014-2015 milestone progress.


EPA Issues Reports on Animal Agriculture Programs (March 16, 2015) - EPA announced that it has completed evaluations of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia's animal agriculture programs.  EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs as part of its oversight responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. 

Read EPA's assessments of animal agriculture programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Draft Management Strategies Available for Public Review (March 16, 2015) - Nine months after the signing of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the Chesapeake Bay Program is seeking public input on plans to achieve the goals and outcomes of that landmark accord. These 25 draft management strategies address the 31 outcomes of the Watershed Agreement. The draft management strategies also outline plans for implementation, monitoring and assessment of work toward the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

Read the press release on the Chesapeake Bay Program website.Exit


Experts Consider Chesapeake Bay an Ecosystem in Recovery (February 3, 2015) - The latest look at Chesapeake Bay health reveals an ecosystem in recovery.  While the watershed continues to struggle against development, pollution and other challenges, a handful of the environmental indicators presented in Bay Barometer have shown signs of resilience. These resilient environmental indicators include American shad, striped bass and underwater grass abundance.

Read the news on the Chesapeake Bay Program website.Exit


EPA Credits States for Making Progress in Bay Cleanup; Says More Effort Needed to Get Back on Track for a Restored Bay (June 26, 2014) - EPA has released its evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay states and D.C.'s final 2012-2013 milestone progress reports and 2014-2015 milestone commitments as part of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.  EPA has also assessed support provided by federal agencies to assist the Bay states and D.C. to meet these commitments. 

Read the news release from EPA Region III.


Judge Upholds Bay TMDL (September 13, 2013) - A federal judge has rejected a legal challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, ruling that "the framework established by the Bay Partnership in developing the Bay TMDL is consistent with "applicable law." Additionally, "EPA did not unlawfully infringe on the Bay states' rights" because the Clean Water Act "envisions a strong federal role for ensuring pollution reduction." 

EPA called the ruling by U.S. Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo "a victory for the 17 million people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  We can all now as partners re-focus our work on achieving clean water goals, building on the progress already happening, and reaping the benefits of restoring local waters and the Bay.  We remain committed and open to all input in revitalizing this national treasure."

Read the September 13, 2013 Chesapeake Bay TMDL court decision.