Chesapeake Bay strategies for accelerating cleanup of the nation's largest estuary and its vast watershed.
Federal agencies released the seven draft reports required by President Obama's executive order on the Chesapeake Bay , which contain a range of proposed strategies for accelerating cleanup of the nation's largest estuary and its vast watershed.
The draft reports were also submitted to the Federal Leadership Committee that is coordinating work on the executive order. The draft reports are available at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net .
Executive Order 13508 on Chesapeake Bay Restoration and Protection
On May 12, 2009 President Obama issued Executive Order 13508 on Chesapeake Bay Restoration and Protection, the first-ever presidential directive on the bay and the first environmental executive order by President Obama.
Multidisciplinary Federal Leadership Committee
The order established a Federal Leadership Committee, chaired by EPA, and with senior representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation.
Over 120 days, 10 federal agencies collaborated to develop the draft reports. The recommendations in the reports were shaped by consultations with the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia , as well as suggestions from stakeholders and the public. Successful restoration of the Chesapeake Bay depends on the involvement of federal, state and local governments; the private sector; nonprofit organizations; and the watershed's 17 million residents. The draft reports were released to engage the public in the process outlined in the executive order.
The draft report on water quality includes some of the more significant potential changes to existing programs.
In this report, EPA proposes to develop new regulations for the Chesapeake Bay to significantly reduce runoff pollution from urban, suburban and agricultural sources.
The report also relays EPA's intention to hold the states in the watershed more accountable for controlling pollution, through increased oversight, enforcement activities and new policies.
Urban and suburban runoff pollution is the fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay , while agricultural runoff is the largest.
The Federal Leadership Committee will evaluate the proposals in the draft reports and consult with bay jurisdictions to refine the recommendations for meeting key challenges to the Chesapeake Bay 's health. However, the agencies will be moving forward in a number of areas before the strategy becomes final.
"We have an urgent obligation to citizens of today and generations of tomorrow to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, and this executive order puts new weight behind our work," Jackson said. "We're moving quickly and transparently on a comprehensive strategy that will get real results for the bay."
More information on the executive order: http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net