VA WIP Phase I, Done. Phase II, Where to Start?

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Last December, EPA and the Commonwealth of Virginia reached agreement on the state’s proposed Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). In evaluating the WIP, EPA found that the WIP met nutrient and sediment allocations for each basin in the final TMDL. EPA also accepted that Virginia was committed to implementing aggressive WWTP upgrades, a more accountable urban stormwater program, and expanded mandatory agricultural programs if voluntary programs are not successful.

With Phase I now complete, it is time for local governments and stakeholders throughout Virginia to begin working on Phase II. Phase II must identify local area targets where pollution reduction strategies set forth in Phase I will be implemented. While the implementation of Phase II may seem a daunting task, there is help out there for local governments beginning the process. The Piedmont Regional Pilot Project for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (PRPP) is one of two pilot projects nominated by Virginia and selected by EPS to be one of the seven Phase II pilot projects in the Bay watershed. The purpose of the PRPP was to “develop a commonly accepted commitment to strategies that key stakeholders have bought into, that are innovative, and that accomplish TMDL goals.” PRPP recently released its Final Report recommended a number of strategies for local government engagement during Phase II. Those strategies include the following...

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