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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

EPA holds public meeting in Annandale tonight on Chesapeake Bay restoration plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting at the Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College this evening to discuss a draft proposal aimed at reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and waterways that feed into it. The meeting is in the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 6-8 p.m.

Accotink Creek in Annandale is part
of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The plan would reduce the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), setting binding limits on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed. EPA calls the plan a “a strict pollution diet” to help restore local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. It would require states and localities to implement a series of actions to be place by 2025 to fully restore the bay, with 60 percent of these actions in place by 2017.

New controls on pollution are likely to have the biggest impact on new developments, with stricter rules on storm management, urban nutrient management, and erosion and sediment controls.

Tonight’s forum at NOVA is one of 17 public meetings hosted by EPA in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania this fall to explain the TMDL proposal to the public. The final TMDL will be established by Dec. 31, and public comments on the draft are due Nov. 8.

Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plan was submitted to the EPA Sept. 3.

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