Six States Sign New Chesapeake Bay Restoration Agreement

"Government officials involved in the multistate Chesapeake Bay cleanup pledged Monday to broaden and accelerate the long-running effort, including a vow to address the impacts of climate change on the ailing estuary.

Governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware signed a new bay restoration agreement in Annapolis, which for the first time formally encompasses "upstream" states with smaller slices of the 64,000-square-mile watershed, including New York and West Virginia. Other signatories were Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, and Ronald E. Miller, a Pennsylvania state representative and chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which represents state lawmakers.

The pact, the fourth signed in 31 years, contains fewer specifics than the last one in 2000, which had more than 100 commitments. But officials said the new agreement's 10 broad goals and 29 "outcomes" focus restoration efforts on the bay's core problems with nutrient and sediment pollution, while also tackling emerging concerns, such as new toxic contaminants. It goes beyond the mandatory bay "pollution diet" imposed on states by the EPA, pledging to work toward restoring crabs, fish and oysters, improving public access to the water and educating students about the environment."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun June 16, 2014.

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"Six States Sign Agreement To Work Together To Restore Chesapeake Bay" (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014