Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives Virginia clean-up plan mixed reviews
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has issued its analysis of a plan submitted by Virginia to the Environmental Protection Agency Monday outlining bay cleanup strategies and the environmental group's verdict is decidedly mixed.
The CBF praises Virginia officials for revisions to its plan--a draft of which was already rejected once by the EPA--that call for reduced pollution from wastewater treatment plants in the James River basin and from street and parking lot runoff in urban areas.
But the group criticizes Virginia for failing to include any mandatory reductions in pollution associated with agriculture. The group predicts that the EPA will respond to the lack of such commitments by imposing harsh new oversight mechanisms of Virginia's clean-up effort.
"Unlike the clear commitments to reductions from the wastewater sector, Virginia has not provided the same reasonable assurance from the agriculture sector," the group said in a statement.
The group also terms comments from Virginia officials that characterized bay clean-up requirements as unfunded federal mandates as "regrettable," noting that Virginia's constitution and other state laws require that the state do what it can to ensure a clean water supply for residents.
"CBF applauds the Commonwealth's efforts to improve the [plan] and urges Virginia and EPA to continue working to resolve outstanding issues, particularly regarding agriculture runoff pollution, and ultimately to ensure a Virginia plan that achieves clean water and a restored Bay."
Rosalind S. Helderman
| November 30, 2010; 3:11 PM ET
Categories: Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman
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Posted by: wdc39 | November 30, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse