A recent Center for Progressive Reform report has criticized the EPA-mandated pollution plans of six states and the District of Columbia that discharge into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The plans, known as Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), were prepared by Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia in response to EPA’s draft total maximum daily load (TMDL) for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment issued in September 2010.

The report’s key findings are that (i) the WIPs, although an improvement over earlier draft plans, are insufficient to achieve the standards set out in the TMDL; (ii) the WIPs do not provide specific commitments for actions and dedicated funding for programs listed in the TMDL; (iii) the weakest WIPs were prepared by Virginia and Pennsylvania, states that together contribute 67 percent of nitrogen pollution and 69 percent of phosphorus pollution to the bay; and (iv) none of the states provided information to evaluate the strength of their program design.