EPA Warns Md., Other States About Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

"Federal officials said Wednesday they have given marching orders to Maryland and other states that drain into the Chesapeake Bay to come up with detailed plans for reducing pollution plaguing the estuary, warning that states face development shutdowns or other as-yet unstated consequences if the water fails to get cleaner.

At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency made the cleanup goal potentially easier to reach, saying new analysis indicates pollution doesn't need to be curbed as much as previously thought to shrink the "dead zone" in the bay that starves fish, crabs and oysters every summer of the oxygen they need to breathe.

J. Charles Fox, the Environmental Protection Agency's senior adviser on the bay, said letters sent this week to the states and the District of Columbia laying out his agency's expectations of them are the first installment in "a new era of federal leadership" in trying to restore the Chesapeake."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun November 5, 2009.

Friday, November 6, 2009