Is $7 Billion Enough To Clean Up The Bay?


This month, the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council met in Richmond to discuss, among things, progress being made on efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Data released that same day indicates that Virginia is on target to meet interim cleanup goals set in 2009. Virginia appears ahead of schedule or on schedule in planting pollution-limiting cover crops, planting grasses that help keep pollution from running off farms, and restoring wetlands. At the same time, Virginia efforts to fence cattle from streams are falling behind, and discharges of phosphorus to Bay tributaries have increased due to the construction of sewage treatment plant improvements. Sounds like good news.

However, recently, 120 local government officials attended a one-day seminar in Hanover County on Chesapeake Bay Restoration, jointly hosted by the Virginia Association of Counties and Virginia Municipal League. We were there to hear, among other things, what implementation of Phase II of the state’s WIP would mean to and might cost, local governments throughout Virginia. The news was not so good.

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