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Jan 22

Helping Improve the Chesapeake Bay - Norm Goulet

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 7:43 AM by Bob Lazaro

Chesapeake Bay Image

Communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, along with federal and state
government, local government, nonprofit organizations, farmers, and private businesses are
making significant progress restoring and protecting the health of local waterways and the
Bay. On Dec. 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the
Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a historic and comprehensive cleanup
plan to guide federal, state and local actions as their communities clean up the Chesapeake
Bay and the connected streams, creeks and rivers.

Specifically in Virginia the TMDL calls for a 20.5% reduction in nitrogen, 25.2% reduction in
phosphorus and 20.8% reduction in sediment delivered to the bay. The objective is to have clean up practices, known as best management practices or BMPs, in place by 2025 to reach the goal of a clean Chesapeake Bay and local waterways that meet water quality standards.

In accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expectations, jurisdictions
Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) are designed to accomplish a set of allocation goals identified in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The EPA recognizes that it will take time to develop the level of detail the jurisdictions are expected to include in their WIPs. As a result, the WIP development process has been divided into three distinct phases.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is pleased to be able to play a significant leadership role not only in Northern Virginia and with State colleagues, but also in coordination with our Chesapeake Bay Planning District colleagues in the watershed. Additionally, NVRC operates a number of programs to help homeowners and business owners alike help take action to improve the Bay.

Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan

The initial Phase I WIP document provided information for the EPA to consider when it
established wasteload and load allocations within each of the 92 segments listed as
impaired. The Phase I WIP includes a description of the authorities, actions, and control
measures (to the extent possible) that will be implemented to achieve these point and
nonpoint source TMDL allocations.

Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan

The Phase II WIP was developed with the assistance of a Stakeholder Advisory Group
convened by the Secretary of Natural Resources and composed of representatives from state agencies, localities, and planning district commissions the Stakeholder Advisory Group submitted the Phase II WIP to the EPA on March 30, 2012.

Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan

The Phase III WIP submitted to the EPA on August 23, 2019 includes refined actions and
controls that will be implemented between 2019 and 2025 to achieve water quality standards.

Virginia's Phase III WIP lays out over 50 targeted state initiatives to support the efforts necessary to achieve the Commonwealth's restoration goals by 2025, placing a strong emphasis on sustained funding and increased technical capacity across all sectors. This strategy is intended to systematically close the outstanding gaps during the final phase of restoration and enable the Commonwealth to reach its pollution reduction targets.

How You Can Help

Our Plant NoVA Natives program helps provide homeowners not only information on the benefits of Northern Virginia native plants, but at what local nursery that they can be purchased. Additionally, we operate the Clean Water Partners campaign with 15 local partners to provide practical advice to homeowners and businesses how they can take steps to protect the Bay. Additionally, working with members of the business community we provide hazardous waste training regarding commonly found items in one’s business. The Know Toxics program helps inform business owners and employees alike on the safe disposal of business generated waste. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has published a list of items on how you can help clean the Chesapeake Bay.