EPA: States behind in tackling Chesapeake pollution problems

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 17, 2016 3:56 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Alex Dominguez

Debris floats in the Chesapeake Bay north of the Bay Bridge on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 in Sandy Point State Park, Md.

(Norfolk) -- The Environmental Protection Agency says states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have collectively fallen behind in implementing efforts to reduce nitrogen pollution in the country's largest estuary. 

The federal agency says that Pennsylvania is mostly to blame because not all of its farms are using the best practices to prevent nitrogen runoff, which often comes from animal waste.

The EPA wants states in the watershed to have implemented 100 percent of a long-term plan by 2025.

The agency says the goal of having 60 percent of best practices in place throughout the entire watershed by 2017 will not be met.

An earlier story is below:

The Environmental Protection Agency says states that make up the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have fallen behind in reducing harmful nitrogen levels in the country's largest estuary.

The plan is to lower the amount of nitrogen in the bay by 60 percent by 2017. But the agency says it expects only a 46 percent drop by that time.

The EPA says Pennsylvania's farms pose one of the biggest challenges as they fail to adequately stop animal waste and other runoff from flowing into the watershed. The agency says other states, such as Virginia, also must do more to address problems with stormwater runoff in urban and suburban areas.

The Susquehanna River is the Bay's largest tributary.

Increased nitrogen levels have led to oxygen-deprived ``dead zones'' in the bay that kill fish and other wildlife.

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