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PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Committee Hears About New Tools To Target Cleanup Efforts

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee heard a presentation Wednesday about new tools the federal Chesapeake Bay Program has available to help the state target cost-effective pollution reduction measures in the Bay Watershed.

Dr. Emily Trentacoste, U.S. Geological Survey, and Matt Johnston, University of Maryland Chesapeake Bay Program Nonpoint Source Data Analyst, walked the Committee through how the data they have could be used to target pollution reduction strategies in five watersheds in the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed.

Using water quality monitoring data, land use, impaired streams information and other factors, they demonstrated how they could help identify the causes of water pollution in those watersheds and then which best management practices could be most effective at addressing nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff problems.

They also identified 11 of the most cost-effective on-farm practices to reduce nitrogen ranging from alternative crops at about $1 per pound, forested buffers at $2 per pound to fencing to exclude animals from streams at about $6 per pound.

There were a number of comments about the need to include cost numbers for other practices in a more urban/suburban setting, like retrofitting existing stormwater management systems.

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell noted a subcommittee of the group is working with the system to help identify the areas where on-farm and stormwater best management practices would be most effective for the cost and that they would bring those recommendations to the full Committee.

Also participating in the presentation were staff from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

Click Here for a copy of the presentation.

Future meetings of the Steering Committee will be October 19 in the Auditorium of the Rachel Carson Building; November 30; and February 15 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg.

For more information and copies of available presentations, visit DEP’s PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning webpage.


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[Posted: Sept. 26, 2017]


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