On Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Progress
Expresses “Alarming Concerns” Over Pennsylvania Plan For Bay Restoration
Governor Larry Hogan, chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, today sent a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler calling for action on Pennsylvania’s lack of progress on clean water goals. As part of his commitment to skilled environmental partnership and stewardship, Governor Hogan has called on upstream states, such as Pennsylvania, to take responsibility for pollution that pours into the Chesapeake Bay.
“With the recent release of the final Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) to restore the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, Maryland continues to have alarming concerns regarding Pennsylvania’s progress on clean water,” wrote Governor Hogan. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s final WIP falls far short of the federally established nitrogen goal by only achieving 73% of the required reduction. Pennsylvania’s plan also includes a troubling funding gap of over $300 million annually.”
Governor Hogan’s letter comes ahead of next week’s meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which consists of the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA administrator. The governor is calling on the EPA to use the oversight powers it has to hold states accountable for meeting Bay restoration goals.
“As Governor of Maryland and Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I have repeatedly offered to help Pennsylvania rally the necessary financial and regulatory support to fully achieve our shared goals,” said the governor. “We urgently need a more complete and comprehensive commitment from Pennsylvania, as well as a clear and robust demonstration from the Environmental Protection Agency that appropriate oversight powers will be used to maintain our momentum.”
Maryland’s final Chesapeake Bay clean-up plan, submitted on August 23, 2019, was developed to meet our pollution reduction targets by 2025 as part of a multi-state bay restoration effort. The Hogan administration continues to lead on environmental conservation in the region, with a focus on the watershed, by committing a record $5 billion toward wide-ranging Bay restoration initiatives.