Chesapeake Bay Foundation Seeks Binding Compact from Governors

September 5, 2003


The Chesapeake Bay Foundation --  -- is asking the governors of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to agree to a binding compact for regulating releases of nitrogen and other pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay, arguing that promised reductions have not been met under a widely touted voluntary agreement between the states, the federal government, industry, and environmentalists.

The compact would focus on reducing three primary pollutants -- nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment.

The foundation believes that this can be achieved by incorporating nitrogen discharge limits into clean water permits, and including specific curbs on the three pollutants in farm nutrient management plans and state clean air plans.

Although an executive council exists and a voluntary agreement was entered into three years ago pledging to meet certain water quality standards by 2010, little progress appears to have been made.

Officials have already failed to reduce nitrogen standards by voluntary agreements and this summer high nitrogen levels have caused the largest 'dead zone' in recent memory.