Chesapeake Bay Action PlanAfter decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.
A decision is expected soon in the highly publicized federal lawsuit Waterkeepers Alliance, Inc., vs. Alan and Kristen Hudson Farm and Perdue Farms, Inc. The outcome is anyone’s guess, but already testimony from the trial has made clear that Maryland’s effort to oversee and enforce nutrient management plans needs more muscle.… Continue Reading
After eight months of negotiations and efforts to strengthen the regulations as we have advocated in our Bay Action Plan, new regulations were proposed and published in the Maryland Register on June 29. These regs are still much too weak and fall well short of the Senior Scientists and Policymakers for the Bay science-based positions. Representatives of our group had discussed our positions in detail with the Bay Cabinet at a meeting last September. We have continued to advocate these common sense positions and members of our group sent detailed letter to the Governor and published an Op-ed in the Baltimore Sun detailing the need for better management of animal manure and other nutrients. … Continue Reading
The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced the development of weakened proposed regulations that are well short of the positions advocated by the Senior Scientists and Policymakers for the Bay to address the pollution from millions of tons of chicken and other farm animal manure that is poisoning ground and surface waters. Some key elements of the proposals don’t even go into effect until 2016, allowing four more years to do just some of what has been required for land application of treated human sludge since 1985!
In preparing for the 2012 Maryland Legislative session, the memories of largely unproductive sessions for the environment in 2010 and 2011 were very fresh. The combined environmental community – the Clean Water, Healthy Families coalition – resolved to be more focused, to pursue a direct request of legislators, and to focus on goals that would have a measurable impact on improving water quality. … Continue Reading
Maryland’s 2012 General Assembly Session is now more than halfway over, and while elected officials are currently focused on the state’s budget, several pieces of important Chesapeake Bay legislation that would help clean up our waters await committee votes.
Today the Executive Council of the Senior Scientists and Policymakers for the Bay delivered this letter to key legislators in support of the following legislation that is in line with our 25-step “action plan,” specifically with respect to science-based recommendations to control agricultural pollution, foster clean development, upgrade septic systems, and improve wastewater treatment plants:… Continue Reading
As has been rumored for many months — yesterday Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would undercut the clean water act and essentially quash the multi-state Chesapeake Bay “TMDL” pollution diet cleanup process. This would be devastating, as many Bay scientists and advocates are hopeful that the TMDL and each State’s Watershed Implementation Plans could finally provide a solution to making our waters, and the Bay, fishable and swimmable again. … Continue Reading