Maryland Governor calls out Pennsylvania over pollution pouring into Chesapeake Bay

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan – (Photo provided by the Governor’s Office)

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is calling for action from Pennsylvania over what he says has been a lack of progress on the part of the state to stop pollution that make its way into the Chesapeake Bay.

As part of his commitment to environmental partnership and stewardship, Gov. Hogan called for upstream states, specifically Pennsylvania, to take responsibility for pollution that is pouring into the Chesapeake Bay.

Governor Hogan did not hold back, sending a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, saying the state “falls far short” in its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay.

“With the recent release of the final WIP to restore the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, Maryland continues to have alarming concerns regarding Pennsylvania’s progress on clean water,” Governor Hogan wrote. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s final WIP falls far short of the federally established nitrogen goal by only achieving 73% of the required reduction. Pennsylvania’s plan also includes a troubling funding gap of over $300 million annually.”

Governor Hogan’s letter comes ahead of next week’s meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which consists of the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA administrator.

Gov. Hogan called on the EPA to use the oversight powers it has to hold states accountable for meeting Bay restoration goals.

“As Governor of Maryland and Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I have repeatedly offered to help Pennsylvania rally the necessary financial and regulatory support to fully achieve our shared goals,” said the governor. “We urgently need a more complete and comprehensive commitment from Pennsylvania, as well as a clear and robust demonstration from the Environmental Protection Agency that appropriate oversight powers will be used to maintain our momentum.”

Maryland’s final Chesapeake Bay clean-up plan, submitted on August 23, 2019, was developed to meet our pollution reduction targets by 2025 as part of a multi-state bay restoration effort.

The Hogan administration continues to lead on environmental conservation in the region, with a focus on the watershed, by committing a record $5 billion toward wide-ranging Bay restoration initiatives.