West Virginia has released its final Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) as part of its requirement under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay initiative.
The Phase II WIP continues the process of defining how West Virginia, in partnership with federal and local governments, will achieve the pollution load reductions required to support the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant a body of water can receive and still meet its water quality standards.
The Bay TMDL, which grew out of a 2009 Executive Order from President Obama calling for the natural sustainability of the Bay Watershed, involves a six-state region. It targets load reductions of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from sources such as agriculture, wastewater treatment facilities, non-point storm water runoff and permitted storm water.
Eight Eastern Panhandle counties – Pendleton, Grant, Mineral, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson – are part of the Bay Watershed. The Potomac River, which flows through the Eastern Panhandle, drains into the Chesapeake Bay.
States in the Bay Watershed have committed to having 60 percent of all pollution control measures in place by 2017 and complete implementation by 2025.
West Virginia’s Phase II WIP is a modification of its Phase I WIP and adds local detail, as well as increased specificity and accountability. The final Phase II WIP also reflects public comments and comments made by the EPA. It was developed by the West Virginia Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, as well as the state Conservation Agency, with significant input from The Conservation Fund-Freshwater Institute, Cacapon Institute, WVU Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and many other partners.
For more information, contact the DEP’s Potomac Basin Coordinator, Alana Hartman, at 304-822-7266 or email: Alana.C.Hartman@wv.gov
The final Phase II WIP is available here