Water Resolution: The EPA's No Pollution Diet

Diets are a popular part of New Year's resolutions, but who says humans are the only ones who participate in dieting? Before the New Year began, the Chesapeake Bay was placed on a strict “pollution diet” established on December 29, 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The special diet, also known as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as other streams, creeks and rivers in the region by reducing the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Bay.

EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson said, “In the past two years, we have made huge strides that will yield real results for millions of people who rely on the Bay for their livelihood…Now we begin the hard work of implementing this pollution diet.”

Continue after the jump, for a list of plans to improve water quality in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Delaware, Washington D.C., and here in Pennsylvania.


 · Committing to more stringent nitrogen and phosphorus limits at wastewater treatment plants, including on the James River in Virginia. (Virginia, New York, Delaware)
· Pursuing state legislation to fund wastewater treatment plant upgrades, urban stormwater management and agricultural programs. (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia)
· Implementing a progressive stormwater permit to reduce pollution. (District of Columbia)
· Dramatically increasing enforcement and compliance of state requirements for agriculture. (Pennsylvania)
· Committing state funding to develop and implement state-of-the-art-technologies for converting animal manure to energy for farms. (Pennsylvania)
· Considering implementation of mandatory programs for agriculture by 2013 if pollution reductions fall behind schedule. (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New York)

The EPA has committed to overseeing each jurisdiction's programs, and will make sure they are implemented and carried out according to plan.

“We’re very pleased with efforts of state officials that helped us get to this point,” Jackson added. “We will continue to provide strong oversight and transparency to ensure accountability and ensure progress continues.”

Read the full article here.