The Chesapeake Executive Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have signed a ten-year landmark agreement to improve water quality and protect living resources in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
The Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement, signed by EPA and council leaders from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., includes efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay by slowing the rate of land development, cleaning up area waterways, protecting wetlands and replenishing local fisheries. It will also remove the Bay from the federal list of polluted waters by 2010.
"There is nothing else like it," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner of the states’ committment to reduce land development by 30 percent. "This is the first ever federal-state-local agreement to have that commitment."
The new agreement revises a previous 18-year-old one that has set standards for the continued cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay covers 64,000 square miles in a region populated by 15 million people.
"This agreement is a historic milestone in the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, providing measurable goals and specific commitments," said Maryland Governor Parris Glendening.
For more information, visit www.chesapeakebay.net.
(Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)