The draft Phase III Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan is scheduled to be released for public comment on April 12 with a comment period running until June 7, according to DEP’s April report to the Citizens Advisory Council (page 15).
The Plan will describe how Pennsylvania intends to move forward and accelerate progress towards meeting the nutrient reduction targets established by the Chesapeake Bay Partnership for the improvement of local water quality and the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay with the goal of having all practices in place by 2025.
The Plan will be available on DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan webpage.
A key element of the draft Plan will be an outline of the resources Pennsylvania needs to implement the Plan.
On March 22, the Funding Workgroup estimated an annual funding gap of $244.5 million over at least the next 6 years totaling $1.467 billion to implement practices needed to meet Pennsylvania’s Bay cleanup obligations.
If Pennsylvania continued with just its existing programs and resources, it would miss the 2025 nitrogen reduction goal by at least 19 years (2044).
Click here for more on the funding workgroup recommendations.
Other Workgroup Recommendations
Several other workgroups gave recommendations to the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee over the last six months:
Many of these recommendations could be incorporated into the draft plan or changed.
On March 8, the steering committee adopted a schedule for the 43 counties in the Pennsylvania portion of the Bay watershed to complete the county-level clean water planning process to develop detailed plans for meeting county nutrient reduction goals.
The final draft watershed implementation plans will build on the recommendations made by the counties.
Four pilot counties—Adams, Franklin, Lancaster and York—have completed or nearly completed their plans. Lancaster and York, however, account for 25 percent of the reductions needed to meet Pennsylvania’s total reduction obligation.
The remainder of the seven counties in DEP’s Tier 1 list of counties is responsible for 50 percent of the state’s Chesapeake Bay water pollution reduction goal would start the planning process in July and complete planning by February.
The planning process for the remaining 36 counties in Tiers 2, 3, and 4 responsible for the other half of the reductions would start in October and be due in late 2020.
Click here for more on this county planning schedule.
Next Steering Committee Meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the Steering Committee is April 24 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Click here to attend the meeting by webinar. Participants will also need to call in 1-650-479-3208, PASSCODE: 644 234 728
For more information and copies of available handouts, visit the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee webpage.