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October 19, 2010

Builders ask more time for bay pollution diet

Builders are looking to delay imposition of a strict pollution "diet" for the Chesapeake Bay, saying more time is needed to study it because of its "national implications, extremely high costs and technical complexity."

The National Association of Home Builders called on the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public 180 days to review and comment on the federal cleanup plan, instead of the 45 days provided.   Federal regulators, who unveiled the draft plan Sept. 24, set an abbreviated comment period because they have pledged to finalize the plan by year's end.

EPA's "Total Maximum Daily Load" would impose limits on how much nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment can be discharge into the bay and its rivers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.  The states have laid out plans to comply with the federal plan by setting limits of their own on farming, on sewage and rain water washing off city and suburban streets and lawns.

"The new TMDL will impose extraordinarily difficult regulatory requirements on the citizens who live in the Bay states," said NAHB Bob Jones, a home builder in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "EPA has already announced that these plans are a blueprint for the rest of the nation, which is all the more reason to make sure the public has ample time to carefully study these proposals."

UPDATE:  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued a statement opposing the builders' request, saying, "This is merely an attempt to delay and derail the clean-up process for short-term profit and narrow interests' benefit."


For more on the plan, go here.


Posted by Tim Wheeler at 8:50 AM | | Comments (0)

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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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