EPA evaluates Pa. efforts to stop Chesapeake pollution

    Pennsylvania isn’t quite leading the pack when it comes to plans for reducing pollution to the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six states and Washington, D.C.

    The state’s plan for bringing down waste water pollution has been upgraded in the estimation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    A separate plan for minimizing agricultural runoff is getting a medium amount of scrutiny from the feds.

    But the proposal to nearly cut in half urban and suburban stormwater pollution is being called overly ambitious.

    The concern may have more to do with Pennsylvania’s size than the size of its promised reductions in storm water pollution, referred to as a load, says Kelly Heffner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

    “The sector is just so big and the load is just so large that they’re concerned that even the best plans couldn’t get maybe to the entire load,” she said. “So they’re keeping an eye on that for the time being, and, quite frankly, so are we.”

    An EPA administrator says the agency recognizes the commonwealth does have more locally controlled municipalities to wrangle than most other Chesapeake Bay watershed states.

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