Chesapeake Bay watchdog criticizes Pa. over pollution reduction progress
Photo by AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
(Harrisburg) — A nonprofit watchdog for the Chesapeake Bay says Pennsylvania is not on track to meet pollution reduction goals by 2025.
State environmental regulators disagree.
A new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says Pennsylvania’s plan to curb nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment flowing into the nation’s largest estuary falls about one-third short of the goal set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Demonstratable, scientific improvement is occurring not only in the Chesapeake Bay but also in the rivers and streams that feed into it, like the Susquehanna,” said Harry Campbell, executive director of the foundation’s Pennsylvania office. “The pace of implementation, the pace of improvement has not kept up.”
The report faults the state for not allocating enough money for the effort, especially to Pennsylvania’s family farms.
Campbell noted wastewater systems have done a great job meeting their goals.
“Agricultural folks as well as urban and suburban stormwater sectors have not kept pace with that implementation and it’s because of the lack of investment; overall sufficient investment in the resources necessary to get the job done,” Campbell said.
In a statement, the state Department of Environmental Protection said best management practices in place across the commonwealth are not getting credit in the EPA’s accounting of pollution loads.
It said the plan provides reasonable assurance that Pennsylvania will meet its Chesapeake Bay commitments.