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EPA not on track to meet pollution reduction goals for Chesapeake Bay

EPA not on track to meet pollution reduction goals for Chesapeake Bay
EPA not on track to meet pollution reduction goals for Chesapeake Bay 01:16

BALTIMORE -- The 2025 federal deadline is looming for the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say they are not on track to meet their pollution reduction goals as planned.

In a virtual news conference, officials explained they will need more time to hit their target and they would like to recommend a new timeline.

Their findings indicate only two states are on track to meet the 2025 deadline -- Washington D.C. and West Virginia.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware and New York all fell short on different levels.


Officials said some of the unexpected challenges they face to restore the Chesapeake Bay includes climate change and some severe weather events. 

A report released Wednesday shows Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia account for roughly 90 percent of the Bay's pollution.

Officials with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say it is time for a renewed push.

"We believe it should be a stretch goal measured in years and not decades," said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Hilary Harp Falk. "The partnership has an accountability framework. EPA needs to exercise its authority and put it into action."

The report reveals some of the wastewater treatment upgrades we have seen may help Maryland and Virginia meet the 2025 deadline. 

In 2020, the attorneys general of Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware and Virginia filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accusing it of not requiring Pennsylvania and New York to develop sufficient plans to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accuses the EPA of allowing Pennsylvania and New York to submit pollution reduction plans that don't meet goals outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

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