HARRISBURG, Pa., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At today's annual Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer reported on Pennsylvania's continuing efforts to improve the condition of the bay.
The Chesapeake Executive Council, which met this year in Gunston Hall, Va., includes officials from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Chesapeake Bay headwater states of New York, West Virginia and Delaware also attended.
"This annual meeting of the council is a good opportunity for all of us to compare notes on our progress with our milestones in protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania has done very well and has exceeded many of our milestones," Krancer said.
"As we move forward, it is important for all of us to keep focused on hard science behind our efforts and to stay fiscally disciplined to make sure that the overall costs of the program are in line with the benefits."
Every two years, the states are expected to meet milestone commitments to reduce pollution in the bay. The goal is for the program partners to put all projects in place by 2025.
During the meeting, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners released their milestone progress reports from 2009 to 2011 and their new 2012-2013 milestone commitments to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharges into the bay.
The foundation of Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay efforts is a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) that includes milestone implementation and tracking, new technology, enhanced compliance and nutrient trading.
Pennsylvania exceeded its 2011 milestone commitments in many areas, including dirt and gravel road erosion and wastewater treatment plants. Throughout the commitment period, 583,574 feet of dirt and gravel roads were stabilized, exceeding the milestone commitment by 467 percent. Wastewater treatment plants also upgraded their treatment process and reduced the overall phosphorus discharge by 126,099 pounds, exceeding the milestone commitment by 255 percent.
Krancer also announced that DEP has revised the Draft County Planning Targets developed during the Phase II WIP process. Draft County Planning Targets for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment were developed for the 43 counties in Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The targets help inform county and municipal governments of the approximate level of effort necessary on their parts to reach Pennsylvania's milestone commitments. The targets are for planning purposes only, and are not regulatory allocations at the county level.
For more information, or to view the milestones and draft county planning targets, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword "Chesapeake Bay Program," or call 717-772-4785.
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection