delware environmental institute

Delaware’s Chesapeake Plan receives EPA approval

NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL

Vol. 39, No. 424

Contact: Melanie Rapp or Carol Riggs, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Delaware’s Chesapeake Plan receives EPA approval

DOVER (Dec. 29, 2010) – Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin P. O’Mara and Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee responded to today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Delaware’s Chesapeake Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP; Phase I) has received EPA’s approval for reducing pollutants from entering local waterways that lie within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“Improving the health of the Nanticoke River and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed is critical to restoring our natural environment and strengthening Delaware's economy,” said Secretary O’Mara. “Incorporating ideas from a broad range of stakeholders, Delaware's Watershed Implementation Plan includes numerous innovative mechanisms to achieve important clean water goals while maintaining our state's economic vitality. We appreciate EPA's support of our innovative state plan."

“I want to recognize the efforts and commitment of the agricultural community and the Nutrient Management Commission in developing Delaware’s plan,” said Secretary Kee. “We are pleased to move forward and do our part in achieving pollutant reductions and implementing the WIP, while striving to maintain and enhance the economic viability of our agricultural industry.”

Delaware is among six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York – and the District of Columbia that developed plans to help restore water quality of the Bay and its tidal waters by 2025, with 60 percent of the work to be completed by 2017.

Approximately one-third of Delaware’s land area drains to the Chesapeake. Many of these waters are prized, such as the Nanticoke and Broad Creek, Marshyhope, Chester and Choptank Rivers. Additionally, the ground-waters that feed these streams are a source of drinking water for residents living in the watershed and a source of irrigation water for local farmers.

Delaware’s WIP details how the state will reduce excess pollutants and implement the state’s portion of EPA’s “pollution diet.” The plan, which was shaped by extensive public and stakeholder input, includes pollution reduction targets by geographic area and source – agriculture, urban stormwater, septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities.

Delaware’s WIP (Phase I) is posted on DNREC’s website, http://www.wr.dnrec.delaware.gov/Information/Pages/Chesapeake_WIP.aspx.