Existing nutrient control programs will achieve reduction goals for phosphorus by the turn of the century, but fall short for nitrogen, according to a yearlong Bay Program effort that re-evaluated progress toward meeting nutrient goals.
In an effort to "close the gap" for nitrogen, the Executive Council called for a variety of actions, where feasible:
- Accelerate nutrient reduction at wastewater plants currently scheduled for improvements after 2000.
- Implement low-cost modifications at wastewater plants where such accelerated installation is not feasible to obtain near-term partial nutrient reductions.
- Encourage voluntary efforts to achieve additional interim reductions from major wastewater treatment plants where nutrient reduction technologies are in place or will be by 2000, but where still higher levels of removal can be obtained from process changes or the year-round operation of nutrient control technologies. Also, to support these efforts through innovative federal, state and local cost sharing arrangements.
- Encourage commitments for additional nutrient reductions from private sector facilities with high loading rates.
- Prioritize the implementation of point and nonpoint source reductions that will be minimally affected by lag times associated with groundwater nutrient delivery, with particular focus on areas with critical living resource or human health concerns.
- Encourage the development and use of innovative point source control technologies and new approaches to nonpoint source reductions.
- Initiate cooperative efforts with the states of Delaware, New York and West Virginia, with the emphasis on New York wastewater treatment plants and on agricultural nonpoint source management in Delaware and West Virginia.
- Work toward additional reductions of airborne nitrogen delivered to the Bay and its watershed from all sources, including states outside the watershed, and seek an improved understanding of how airborne nitrogen affects the Bay and its tributaries.
- Develop new partnerships at the community level to engage increasing numbers of citizens residing in the Chesapeake watershed in the cleanup effort.