Chesapeake Bay Pollution Limits (TMDL)
West Virginia's Watershed Implementation Plan
Milestone Progress Reports
All of the Bay states agreed to implement 60 percent of their Bay cleanup plans by 2017 and 100 percent by 2025. To track progress, Virginia and the other states agreed to establish interim, two-year cleanup goals called milestones, and to publicly report progress toward achieving them beginning in 2011. The two-year milestones and progress reports are a critical tool to hold the states publicly accountable.
West Virginia submitted its Final Phase II WIP (PDF) (124 pgs, 1.7MB) to EPA on March 30, 2012. EPA issued its comments (PDF) (6 pgs, 363KB) on the plan May 31, 2012.
EPA evaluated the Bay jurisdictions' Draft Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) and 2012-2013 two-year milestones and provided feedback on Feb. 15, 2012. The Phase II WIPs and the two-year milestones are important elements in helping to meet the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council's goal of having all practices in place by 2025 to meet water quality standards in the Chesapeake Bay. View the evaluation for West Virginia (PDF) (5 pgs, 33KB).
For their Phase II WIPs, EPA asked jurisdictions to make key stakeholders—local governments, conservations districts, farmers, builders and others—aware of their roles in cleaning up the region's waterways, and to strengthen pollution-reduction strategies for any sectors subject to federal enhanced oversight or backstop actions based on the Phase I WIPs and the Bay TMDL issued in 2010. Visit West Virginia's website to learn more about their activities to finalize their Phase II WIP.
Final Phase I Watershed Implementation Plans were submitted to EPA by the six watershed states and the District of Columbia beginning November 29, 2010. The WIPs were designed to provide a roadmap for how and when a jurisdiction intends to meet its pollutant allocations under the Bay TMDL. View the Final Phase I WIP for West Virginia.
The Phase I WIPs were reviewed by a team of EPA sector specialists based on detailed expectations provided by EPA in November 2009 (PDF) and supplemented in April 2010 (PDF) and extensive interaction with the jurisdictions since the submittal of draft WIPs in early September 2010. The WIPs needed to meet the lower pollution limits for that jurisdiction and provide reasonable assurance that the actions identified would achieve the reductions, particularly for non-permitted sources like runoff from agricultural lands and stormwater from urban and suburban lands. The final WIPs represented significant improvements over the draft WIPs, enabling EPA to reduce and remove most federal "backstops" that had been included in the draft TMDL. Because of inadequacies in dealing with agriculture, EPA included a "backstop" measure in the final TMDL, that could lead to a requirement that WV regulate more of their animal feeding operations if they don't make sufficient progress reducing agricultural loads. In addition, because of some deficiencies in their plans to reduce pollution from stormwater and wastewater, EPA will be conducting "enhanced oversight" of these programs, potentially invoking more stringent measures in the future. View the Phase I evaluation for West Virginia (PDF).
Source: Chesapeake Bay TMDL website
How Much Progress Has West Virginia Made?
You can track progress for all Bay jurisdictions on EPA's Chesapeake Stat website. On you can read about progress already being realized.
What Obstacles Does the Cleanup Face?
Apathy, anti-Bay legislation, lawsuits, and a bad economy all threaten to derail the state-federal Bay cleanup. Yet most experts consider this the Chesapeake Bay's best, and perhaps last, chance for real restoration. The problems have been identified; we have the know-how and tools to fix them; and the benefits of a restored Chesapeake Bay manifestly outweigh cleanup costs. If we work together to make the pollution limits work, many scientists believe the Bay will reach a tipping point when improvements outpace pollution and the Bay rebounds exponentially.
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