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The Cost of EPAs Chesapeake Bay TMDL

The Cost of EPAs Chesapeake Bay TMDL

By Jenny Tribo

Senior Water Resources Planner

If Virginia does not propose a revised Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to EPA by November 29, 2010, then EPA will propose that nutrient reductions be achieved almost exclusively by regulated point sources, wastewater and stormwater. Achieving EPA’s stormwater reductions in the James River watershed will require high levels of stormwater treatment for 65 percent of impervious lands by 2025.

Hampton Roads localities estimate that it is technically feasible to treat up to 19 percent of impervious lands. The estimated costs of that level of stormwater costs is represented in the “BMP Costs” column in the table below. 

If EPA’s proposed reductions are regulated through stormwater permits, then the remaining reductions would be met by collecting, storing, and reusing stormwater. Storage and reuse costs approximately $250k per acre. The “Total” column in the table below shows the costs to residents of Hampton Roads to achieve EPA’s prescribed nutrient reductions.

The Hampton Roads localities support efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and local tributaries, but advocate doing so in a responsible and cost effective manner. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission staff is working with partners in the stormwater and wastewater sectors to encourage Virginia to revise Virginia’s WIP to allocate load reductions cost effectively among point and non point sources and to support those reductions with the funding and legislation necessary to achieve them.

Chesapeake Bay TMDL