Report: Chesapeake Bay Improving But Huge Challenges Remain - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Report: Chesapeake Bay Improving But Huge Challenges Remain

Posted: May 30, 2018 1:18 PM Updated:

NORFOLK, Va. (WBOC/AP)- A nonprofit that tracks pollution in America's largest estuary says the health of the Chesapeake Bay is improving, but huge challenges remain.           

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has released a midpoint assessment of a federal plan to curb pollution flowing into the watershed by 2025. States are required to cut phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment from treated wastewater as well as runoff from farms and cities.           

The good news in Wednesday's report is that the bay's oxygen dead zone is shrinking. Underwater grasses and oysters are making a coming back. Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have reduced pollution coming from sewage treatment plants.           

But the foundation asserts they're not doing enough to tackle the pollution running off farms, and says Pennsylvania is particularly falling short. The foundation says at the "very least EPA needs to exert its authority in Pennslyania, while also putting Maryland and Virginia on notice.

"Pollution from rural and urban runoff must be addressed now, not pushed down the road yet again," said CBF President William C. Baker.

The midpoint assessment was designed so that course corrections can be made along the way, not to provide excuses for delay," Baker also said. "Rest assured, we will use all the advocacy and litigation tools at our disposal to ensure the commitments are met."

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