By Whitney Katchmark
Principal Water Resources Planner
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Draft Chesapeake Bay TMDL on September 24, 2010. The Virginia Watershed Implementation Plan was released earlier in September. Both documents propose pollution reductions and policies to implement those reductions.
The EPA was not satisfied with Virginia’s proposed Watershed Implementation Plan and proposed more reductions for the federally permitted point sources of pollution, such as wastewater treatment plants, large animal agriculture operations and municipal stormwater systems. The differences in the EPA’s proposals and Virginia’s proposal are most significant in the James River Watershed. The chart “James River – Phosphorus Loading” illustrates the differences by sector from 1985 to 2009 and the differences between Virginia’s plan and EPA’s response. Virginia must submit a revised Watershed Implementation Plan to the EPA by November 29th.