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PA Chesapeake Bay Steering Committee Readies Information For 39 Counties On Water Pollution Reduction Planning Process

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee Monday took the initial steps in approving a letter and other materials to notify all counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed of their opportunity to become involved in developing County-Level Water Pollution Action Plans to meet Bay nutrient and sediment reduction targets.

Marcus Kohl, co-chair of the Communications and Engagement Workgroup, presented a series of documents designed to go out to the 39 counties not participating in the pilot program to develop County-Level Water Pollution Reduction Action Plans using the Clean Water Toolbox.

The materials stress the fact counties have the opportunity to develop their own County-Level Plans to meet specific nutrient and sediment reduction targets to be shared with them by DEP.  If they or another local group wants to take a leadership role in developing the plans, DEP will be there to assist them.

The materials outline the process and the background on the Watershed Implementation Plan obligations Pennsylvania must meet.

The documents include--

-- General Letter To Counties “Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities”

-- Letter A County Could Send To Local Stakeholders Inviting Them To Participate

-- PowerPoint Presentation On County-Level Action Plans (longer version)

-- PowerPoint Presentation On County-Level Action Plans (shorter version, with Talking Points)

-- Fact Sheet On Developing A Countywide Action Plan

The Committee gave their tentative approval to the materials, pending the incorporation of additional Committee member comments.

Pilot Countywide Plans

Kristin Wolf, DEP Chesapeake Bay Office, gave a brief update on the Pilot Countywide Planning Process that has been underway in Adams, Franklin, Lancaster and York counties using the draft Clean Water Toolbox.

She said Lancaster and York counties should both have draft county water pollution reduction plans ready for additional review sometime in October.  These counties alone account for 25 percent of the nutrient reduction opportunities required for Pennsylvania to meet its Bay pollution reduction milestones.

Adams and Franklin counties are working with Interstate Potomac River Basin Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to develop their initial list of best management plan options.

Both counties have initial stakeholder meetings scheduled-- September 25 in Adams County and September 28 in Franklin County.

Land Policy Tool

Matt Johnston, University of Maryland, EPA Chesapeake Bay Office and Matt Keefer, Forestry Workgroup co-Chair presented an overview of a new tool for analysing the impact on pollution loadings of alternative land use and land conservation policies to help the state achieve reductions to account for growth.

The Forestry Workgroup did not recommend any new policies beyond the suggestions it made at the July 10 Steering Committee meeting.

Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Steering Committee is on October 24 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building.  Click Here to pre-register to attend the meeting by webinar.  Participants will also need to call in 1-650-479-3208, PASSCODE 643 952 548.

However, the Committee is looking to reschedule the meeting to mid-November, depending on the availability of information needed for the meeting.

For more information and available handouts, visit the PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee webpage.

Related Stories:

Agriculture, Forestry Workgroups Present Key Recommendations To Meet PA’s Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Obligations

PA To Pilot County-Level Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Planning Process In 4 Counties This Summer

Students Push For House Action To Designate Eastern Hellbender Official Symbol Of Clean Water; Become A Hellbender Defender!

Renew The State's Commitment To Keeping Pennsylvania Clean, Green And Growing

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Op-Ed: Of Pennsylvania Floods And Our Future

[Posted: Sept. 10, 2018]


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