To meet the 2025 deadline for the Chesapeake Bay pollution diet, or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), Virginia is looking for more pollution reductions beyond the significant progress made by wastewater and stormwater permittees. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) contracted with planning districts across the state to convene stakeholders and develop recommendations to encourage voluntary pollution reductions. As part of the Commonwealth’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), DEQ asked the planning districts to report back on what actions and recommendations would be best for reducing pollution if more resources were provided.
To that end, HRPDC staff collaborated with local governments, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and consultants to develop these pollution reductions strategies. The ideas included sate policy changes, increased staffing at DEQ, and consistent funding for stormwater management cost-share programs. A common theme was to provide more incentives for anyone willing to install best management practices (BMPs) to reduce run-off and capture nutrients through state-funded programs. Stakeholders also encouraged the importance of land conservation, living shorelines, and urban tree canopy to achieve nutrient reduction goals. These recommendations, along with those from other PDCs, will be compiled for the Phase III WIP, setting a path forward for the Commonwealth to provide resources and put BMPs in place by 2025.
Rain garden – A common BMP that can be beneficial for reducing run-off and capturing nutrients.