$300 Million Chesapeake Bay Bond Stalls in Virginia House

Source:  dailypress.com
Written by:  Cory Nealon
February 9, 2012

Virginia lawmakers declined to back a $300 million bond package that would fund wastewater treatmet plant improvements in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.   The bond, which passed unanimously in the Senate, hit a wall Wednesday in the House of Delegates.  An Appropriations subcommittee voted to shelve the matter until next year.

The decision is a setback for environmental groups, localities, sewer authorities and others that want to use bonds to help pay for upgrades that would reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges in the bay and its tributaries.

The legislation springs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 15-year effort to restore water quality in the bay, where algae blooms, fish kills, and beach closures occur every year.

The EPA directed six watershed states, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, to devise ways to reduce pollution.  In addition to targeting wastewater treatment plants, states are clamping down on agricultural operations, stormwater runoff and other sources.

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EPA Official To Tour PaveDrain Manufacturing Facility

Source:  The Washington Post – The Local
Feb 3, 2012
By Associated Press

EPA official to tour Bladensburg manufacturer, promote

permeable paving material

BLADENSBURG, Md. — Nancy Stoner is the Environmental Protection Agency’s top
water official, but she’ll be talking about paving when she tours a Bladensburg

That’s because the factory owned by Ernest Maier Inc., produces permeable
paving stones that allow rain to soak through them and into the soil rather than
run off into storm drains. The EPA says that’s important because pavers that
allow rainwater to sink into the ground below, where it is filtered by the
ground, help to remove pollutants before they reach waterways.

And that’s important for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts because while
pollution from other sources is being cut, urban and suburban storm water runoff
is a growing source of pollution.

Stoner plans to tour the Bladensburg factory on Monday.