EPA provides $7.25 million for cleanup in Chesapeake Bay watershed

May 27, 2021
The targeted ‘most effective’ actions will fund agriculture and environmental justice projects to reduce the bay's nitrogen pollution.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that six states and the District of Columbia will share $7.25 million for actions to improve local rivers and streams in locations most beneficial to the downstream Chesapeake Bay.

The funds include a second year appropriation of $6 million for cleanup actions in the most effective basins (MEB) of the Bay watershed – areas where projects to reduce runoff from farm operations will yield the greatest progress toward achieving water quality standards in the Bay.

The additional $1.25 million is being designated for environmental justice areas within those most effective basins.

“We at EPA are committed to doing all we can to help our state partners reach their Bay cleanup goals and to ensure that underserved areas share in that effort,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Diana Esher.

For the second consecutive year, EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program budget received $6 million for “state-based implementation in the most effective basins.”  EPA identified those basins based on a finding that reducing excess nitrogen from agricultural sources would have the most impact on key areas of the Bay at the least cost.

As in 2020, the funding allocations reflect commitments to reduce farm-based pollutants made by the states in their most recent Bay cleanup plans.  Pennsylvania, whose Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan anticipates 61.6 percent of its nitrogen reductions to come from agriculture, has 26 of the top 30 most effective basins, including all of the top 15.

EPA is focusing the additional $1.25 million in areas identified as being most effective for improving water quality while targeting underrepresented communities.  The funds will be allocated based on the formula used for the annual Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grants (CBIG) – 20 percent shares to Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and 10 percent shares to the District of Columbia, Delaware, New York and West Virginia.

The following lists most effective basin funding by jurisdiction:

DC: $125,000

DE: $489,540

MD: $945,940

NY: $204,536

PA: $3,945,112

VA: $1,360,191

WV: $179,681

For more information, visit  www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl.

SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency