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Updated: Environmental groups lobby McDonnell on Chesapeake Bay cleanup

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Several environmental groups are calling on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to support a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.

Last week, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation took out an ad in the Richmond Times-Dispatch asking residents to "Tell Governor McDonnell to strengthen Virginia's clean-up plan." On Monday, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Sierra Club and others delivered 7,000 letters to his administration.

"Virginia has the opportunity, the legal obligation, the economic imperative, and the broad popular support to do something bold and significant for the Chesapeake Bay," said Ann F. Jennings, CBF Virginia executive director. "We trust Governor McDonnell will seize that opportunity for the sake of the Bay, the state's economy, those whose livelihoods depend upon clean water, and our children's future."

In September, the Environmental Protection Agency threatened to punish five mid-Atlantic states, including Virginia, for "serious deficiencies'' in their clean-up plans.

Virginia has until Nov. 29 to submit a credible cleanup plan to EPA or risk having EPA impose a federal plan of its own.

McDonnell's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Updated, 2:45 p.m. McDonnell's office responds. "The Commonwealth is working with stakeholders and the EPA to develop a Watershed Implementation Plan that provides effective methods of restoring the Bay without stifling growth and economic development,'' McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said. "Many of the comments we received during the public comment period will be addressed in our revised plan. Our goal is to submit a final plan that meets Virginia's goals to improve water quality on the Bay, is acceptable by the EPA, and does not impede job creation in the Commonwealth."

By Anita Kumar  | November 9, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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