U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), joined with
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley,
Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD-7),
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), and
Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant
who represented Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Chair of the Bay Program’s Executive Council, to outline the details of federal legislation to greatly expand federal resources available for restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Also participating in today’s announcement were National Wildlife Federation’s Tony Caligiuri, a co-chair of the 103-group strong Chesapeake Bay Watershed Coalition, and Luke Brubaker, owner of Brubaker Farms of Mt. Joy, PA.
Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Act of 2009
, which will be introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cardin with original co-sponsor
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), reauthorizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program and gives state and local governments of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed expanded authority, $1.5 billion in new grant authorization, and strong new enforcement tools, to help restore the Bay’s health. Congressman Cummings plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives later this week.
said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.
said Governor O’Malley. “Senator Cardin’s leadership on this issue is exemplary, and this bill will bring a new level of accountability and efficiency to our clean-up efforts in order to restore the Bay for future generations of Marylanders.”
said Congressman Cummings. “I often say that our children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see. This cleanup effort will be our message to those children. We cared enough about their future to ensure a cleaner, more pristine environment in which they could live.”
said Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Senator Mikulski said.
said Governor Kaine. “I applaud Senator Cardin’s leadership on this legislation and his willingness to work so closely with the Commonwealth. This bill will take our collective Bay restoration effort to the next level by holding states accountable for progress — while providing new tools to accomplish our clean-up goals in the process.”
Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, West Virginia
District of Columbia. The Chesapeake Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals.
The legislation gives the states of the Chesapeake Bay strong new tools to restore the Bay
for the first time sets a firm deadline of 2025
for all restoration efforts to be in place. The internal and final deadlines for action coincide with the Executive Council’s timeline for Chesapeake restoration. Unlike earlier, missed deadlines, this one will become a legally binding part of the Clean Water Act.
The bill also significantly
expands federal grants.
The Chesapeake Restoration bill
authorizes a new $1.5 billion grants program to control urban/suburban polluted stormwater
, the only pollution sector that is still growing. Grants to the states, small watershed organizations, and for comprehensive monitoring programs are all newly created or expanded in the draft bill.
10% of state implementation grants are set aside for NY, DE and WV
. These headwater states have never been guaranteed any access to these funds in the past.
At least 20% of the implementation grants are allocated for
technical assistance to farmers and foresters
to help them access Farm Bill funds and implement conservation practices on their farms.
codifies President Obama’s Chesapeake Bay Executive Order
, which requires annual Federal Action Plans across all federal departments to restore the Bay.
Other Provisions: makes the ban on the introduction of
statutory, but allows them to be studied in the Bay; continues and expands the
eradication program on the Delmarva; requires a study of the relationship between commercial
fishing and water quality; and allows for
The basic structure
of the Bay Program (a federal-state partnership governed by the Executive Council and administered by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office in Annapolis)
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
SEC. 3. CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM.
This Section replaces the current Section 117 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, making the following changes:
(a) Definitions. [
replaces and expands the current definitions at 117(a)].
Current subsection 117(b) “Continuation of the Chesapeake Bay Program” and subsection 117(c) “Interagency Agreements” are both restated and unchanged.]
(d) Technical Assistance and Assistance Grants.
This subsection retains the same language as in current subsection 117(d) but is amended by renaming the “Small Watershed Grants Program” in 117(d)(2)(B) the ”
Chesapeake bay stewardship grants program.”
(e) Implementation and Monitoring Grants.
Current Section 117(e) is replaced with this new subsection (e) providing for implementation and monitoring grants. Headwater states (DE, NY and WV) are made eligible for implementation grants for the first time, and are allocated at least 10 percent of implementation grants. 20 percent of implementation grants are set aside so farmers and foresters can receive technical assistance that will help them access Farm Bill funds for implementing conservation practices.
The monitoring program is broken into two parts: one for freshwater and one for estuarine. USGS and NOAA are given roles in planning the monitoring programs, and the Administrator must also consult with the Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, the river basin commissions, other Federal departments and agencies, certain local universities, and the states. States and basin commissions implement the monitoring programs, supported by grants.
Current Section 117 (f) is replaced with this new subsection (f) codifying the actions in President Obama’s Executive Order of May 12, 2009. The Administrator must provide an annual action plan and progress report, and by December 31, 2010, create and maintain a Bay-wide database on the implementation of conservation management practices.
(g) Chesapeake Bay Program.
Chesapeake bay stewardship grants program and the program is expanded to include activities now covered by the “large watershed grants” program, as well as innovative pollution reduction efforts. In addition, Stewardship Grants will give preference to cooperative projects involving local governments. This subsection also specifies that local Soil Conservation Districts are also eligible for technical assistance and assistance grants.
(h) Total Maximum Daily Load.
Current Section 117 (h) is replaced with this new subsection (h),
Total Maximum Daily Load, requiring EPA to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Bay no later than December 31, 2010. The TMDL must be designed to implement applicable water quality standards in the watershed and achieve those standards in the Bay and its tidal tributaries. The TMDL may not include any net increase in pollutant load from new/increased impervious surfaces, CAFOs, transportation systems and septic systems. This subsection further specifies that all Section 402 permits must include limits consistent with the TMDL, and requires each Chesapeake Bay State to submit to the Administrator copies of any permit for discharges of nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment into the Chesapeake Bay watershed that is allowed to continue beyond 5 years.
(i) Actions by States.
Current Section 117 (i) is replaced with this new subsection (i) outlining specific state actions in four parts:
Watershed implementation plans. To implement the TMDL, each state must adopt and submit to the Administrator for approval a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for each of the tidal water segments comprising the Bay within their jurisdiction. WIPs shall apply to agricultural runoff, point sources, nonpoint stormwater runoff, and septic and other sewage disposal systems. Each WIP must specify pollution reduction targets and schedules, and be enforceable. States are required to submit biennial progress reports starting in 2014. Each State is required to fully implement the WIPs by 2025, and is required to implement adaptive management principles to ensure that that deadline is met.
Issuance of permits. Chesapeake Bay States may issue permits in accordance with section 402 for any pollution sources the States determine are necessary. Any permits issued under a WIP will be enforced in the same manner as other Section 402 permits.
stormwater permits. After January 1, 2013, Chesapeake Bay States must assure the Administrator that any owner or operator of any development or redevelopment project with an impervious footprint that exceeds a threshold determined by the Administrator shall to the maximum extent feasible maintain the predevelopment hydrology of the property, and compensate for any unavoidable impacts to the predevelopment hydrology of the property.
Phosphate ban. Within 3 years of enactment, states must implement a ban on cleaning agents with more than 0.0 percent phosphorus by weight, except for quantities not exceeding 0.5 percent that are incidental to the manufacture of the cleaning agent.
(j) Action by Administrator.
Current Section 117 (j) “Authorization of Appropriations” is moved to a new Section (p), and replaced with this new subsection (j). This new subsection (j) outlines a series of actions EPA must take to improve water quality. They include:
(1) Establish minimum criteria for the Watershed Implementation Plans
(2) Approve, disapprove, or require updates to State WIPs to ensure their compliance with the minimum criteria
(3) Provide for federal implementation if a Chesapeake Bay State fails to act, including the implementation of a federal WIP and the withholding of certain federal funds from the State
(4) Establish a nitrogen and phosphorus trading program by May 12, 2012 that includes standards for the generation, quantification, and trading of credits; ensures that credits are used in accordance with NPDES permits and do not cause or contribute to the impairment of receiving waters; and facilitates credit trading by minimizing risk and uncertainty and ensuring administrative efficiency
(5) Establish guidance and model ordinances for managing stormwater runoff, as well as a grants program for municipalities to meet those requirements
(6) Report to Congress on commercial products that impact the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay
(k) Prohibition on Introduction of Asian Oysters.
This new subsection bans the introduction of Asian Oysters into the Bay, and requires the Administrator to specify conditions for how these oysters may be studied within the Chesapeake Bay.
(l) Chesapeake Nutria Eradication Program.
This new subsection authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to Delaware, Maryland and Virginia to carry out a program to eradicate non-native, invasive nutria and restore marshland damaged by nutria.
This new subsection requires the Administrator to participate in ongoing NOAA research and submit to Congress a study to determine the relationship between commercial menhaden fishing and water quality.
(n) Effect on Other Requirements.
This new subsection states that all other Clean Water Act provisions remain in effect and authorizes citizen suits for violations by states or EPA
(o) Evaluation by Inspector General.
This new subsection requires the EPA Inspector General to evaluate the implementation of the Program on a regular basis.
(p) Authorization of Appropriations.
This subsection, formerly 117 (j), is amended to authorize the following appropriations:
(1) Implementation Grants: $80 million annually
(2) Monitoring Grants: $5 million annually each for freshwater and estuarine
(3) Stewardship Grants: $15 million annually
(4) Stormwater Pollution Abatement Planning Grants for municipalities: $10 million
(5) Stormwater Pollution Abatement Implementation Grants for municipalities: $1.5 billion
(6) Nutria Eradication Grants: $4 million annually