EPA officials played down the prospects of conflict, saying they’re committed to helping the states develop stronger pollution-reduction measures.
“Everybody . . . is sensitive to the economic times, and the fact this is not going to be easy, cheap or quick,” said Shawn Garvin, the EPA’s Mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “But that should not be the reason we do not set out the roadmap for how we’re going to get there. We’re not looking to have all these practices in place by next year.”
State and federal officials agreed two years ago to put in place by 2025 all the pollution control measures needed to restore the bay’s water quality, and to have 60 percent of them in place by 2017.
The O’Malley administration, pointing to Maryland’s historical leadership among bay states in cleanup efforts, vowed to do its part by 2020, and to get 70 percent of the control measures in place in the next seven years.
While finding little fault with Maryland’s cleanup plan, EPA officials did note that the state failed to propose enough reductions in pollutants in several rivers . . . . And federal regulators said that none of the states, Maryland included, offered enough details on where they would get the funds to upgrade treatment plants and storm drains, or on what new pollution measures might be proposed.
States not immediately bounding the bay, for whom the cost-benefit is undoubtedly less appealing, are reacting to the EPA policy mandate less warmly.