Pennsylvania’s efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay are getting a big boost.
The Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the state are together contributing more than $28 million in mostly new funds.
Pennsylvania is one of six states — plus Washington, D.C. — working to limit pollution runoff into the Bay. But the Keystone State is struggling to keep up. Harry Campbell , who leads the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania office, said stakeholders are acknowledging that.
“These new investments are exclusive to Pennsylvania,” he said. “And the reason why is that Pennsylvania’s efforts in restoring the healthy condition of our local streams that feed into the Chesapeake Bay is lagging significantly behind.“
A study released this summer shows the state is not expected to meet next year’s targets for reducing nitrogen and phosphorous.
The bulk of the runoff entering local streams and, eventually, the bay comes from agriculture. Pennsylvania is home to more than 33,000 farms in the Chesapeake Watershed.
Much of the $28 million will go toward programs to help farmers in Southeastern Pennsylvania begin conservation practices.