PA’s Biggest Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Challenge: 609 Million Pounds Of Sediment

Kelly Heffner, DEP Deputy for Water Management, told DEP’s Citizen’s Advisory Council Tuesday Pennsylvania’s biggest challenge in meeting its obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup milestones is reducing sediment going into our rivers and streams by another 609 million pounds by 2025.

She said Pennsylvania has completed 42 percent of the sediment reductions, 28 percent of the nitrogen reductions and 60 percent of the phosphorus reductions needed to meet the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, but more work needs to be done.

Heffner said 1 million pounds of nitrogen reductions were achieved last year, however an additional 32.5 million pounds need to be reduced by 2025.  An additional 940,000 pounds of phosphorus will have to be reduced by 2025.

Heffner noted publicly owned sewage treatment plants have already reduced phosphorus loads to below the 2017 milestone adding, “more aggressive implementation will be needed in other areas to meet the 2017 milestone.”

She said discussions surrounding a new, revised Chesapeake Bay Agreement were going slowly and were unlikely to be concluded by the end of this year.

Click Here for a copy of Heffner’s presentation.  For more information, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Program webpage.

Updates From Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation PA Office just released a series of fact sheets outlining the water quality problems and solutions being implemented in the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed--

-- A Primer On Pollutants Of Concern-- outlines the contributions Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed makes to nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution to the Bay.

-- Nearly 20,000 Miles Of PA Streams Are Polluted-- details the fact there are thousands of stream miles and hundreds of acres of lakes all across Pennsylvania that are considered “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act that either have or will require what is known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

-- Cost Effective Solutions Are Known, Documented For The Chesapeake Bay-- notes cost effective pollution solutions have already made significant progress in reducing pollution going to the Bay, particularly in Pennsylvania.

In addition, Dr. Beth McGee, Senior Water Quality Scientist at CBF, this week gave a PowerPoint presentation on the status of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup in Pennsylvania and the challenges that remain.


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