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Pennsylvania's Draft Phase 2 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan

[41 Pa.B. 6841]
[Saturday, December 17, 2011]

 The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on December 29, 2010, the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment. The six watershed states and the District of Columbia submitted Phase 1 Chesapeake Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) to show how the states and the District of Columbia, in partnership with Federal and local governments, will achieve and maintain the TMDL nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment limits necessary to meet Chesapeake Bay water quality standards.

 Pennsylvania's Phase 1 Chesapeake WIP (Phase 1 WIP) outlined the State's plan to address nutrient and sediment loadings that drain to the Chesapeake Bay. The Phase 1 WIP was prepared following the EPA's November 4, 2009, guidance that outlined their expectations for WIPs, and was revised based on public comments, workgroup input and comments received from the EPA. Pennsylvania's Phase 1 WIP was prepared to address the EPA's expectations for the TMDL. The Phase 1 WIP is based on a foundation that addresses three core elements: 1) milestone implementation and tracking; 2) supporting the implementation of advanced technologies and nutrient trading; and 3) enhancing common sense compliance efforts. The Phase 1 WIP was prepared through an open process that solicited significant input from a variety of constituency groups.

 The EPA announced on August 1, 2011, revised nutrient and sediment allocations for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. The allocations are the result of the EPA's development of a revised Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model. Using the revised allocations, the EPA's ''Guide for Chesapeake Bay Jurisdictions for the Development of Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans'' issued on March 30, 2011, and the EPA's October 17, 2011, ''Questions & Answers: Phase 2 WIPs,'' the EPA expects the states to develop a Phase 2 WIP so that local partners: (1) are aware of the WIP strategies; (2) understand their contribution to meeting the TMDL allocations; and (3) have been provided the opportunity to suggest any refinements to the WIP strategies. The EPA has established a December 15, 2011, deadline for submission of the draft Phase 2 Chesapeake WIP, and a March 30, 2012, deadline for the final plan. The EPA expects the Phase 2 Chesapeake WIP to contain greater detail about the first stage of implementation, which will last from when the EPA established the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in December 2010 until 2017.

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) submitted the Commonwealth's draft Phase 2 WIP to the EPA on December 15, 2011. In developing the draft Phase 2 WIP, the process provided a valuable opportunity for the Department to interact with Commonwealth leaders from local-level organizations such as conservation districts, municipalities, planning commissions and authorities. The Department's general approach was to engage groups in discussions about the level of effort needed to meet TMDL goals. The discussions resulted in the Department receiving valuable new input and ideas that shaped the formation of this draft Phase 2 WIP.

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the draft Phase 2 WIP from December 17, 2011, through January 30, 2012. Notice of availability of the draft Phase 2 WIP for public comment has been posted on the Department's web site at www. depweb.state.pa.us (DEP Keywords: Chesapeake Bay). Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Written comments should be submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection, Interstate Waters Office, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063 or ep-chesapeakebayprogram@pa.gov. A return name and address must be included in each e-mail transmission.

 Questions regarding the draft Phase 2 WIP should be directed to the Interstate Waters Office at (717) 772-4785 or at the e-mail address provided previously.

MICHAEL L. KRANCER, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-2152. Filed for public inspection December 16, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]



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