EIP Report: Despite Gains, Tougher Enforcement Needed to Curb Municipal, Industrial Pollution of Chesapeake Bay

Group Hails Progress, but Calls for Tighter Permitting and More Transparency in PA, MD, VA, WV, DE, NY and D.C. to Boost Bay Clean-Up.

Industrial and municipal dischargers contribute a fifth of the nitrogen and a quarter of the phosphorus pollution responsible for the decline of the Chesapeake Bay.  In a new report, the Environmental Integrity Project analyzed pollution from these sources in VA, MD, PA, WV, DE, NY, and D.C. to assess progress cleaning up Bay pollution and identify opportunities to reduce nutrient loadings.

EIP found that investment in wastewater treatment upgrades has helped reduce pollution from these sectors significantly in Maryland and Virginia, though nitrogen discharges in Pennsylvania actually increased from 2010 to 2011.  EIP also found that illegal pollution from these sources contributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to the Bay and that dozens of large nitrogen dischargers appear to lack enforceable nitrogen limits in their Clean Water Act permits, indicating that strong permitting and enforcement can play a critical role in cleaning up the Bay.

For the press release, click here.

For the report, click here.