Figures recently released by EPA Region III show that the Bay states and federal facilities came close — but barely fell short — of an environmental compliance goal set by EPA Administrator William K. Reilly more than a year ago.
At the December 1989 Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting, Reilly set a 1990 goal of bringing all 50 major federal facilities in the Bay watershed into compliance with federal environmental laws.
Reilly also set a goal of reducing by half 'significant noncompliance' at the 330 major wastewater dischargers — which includes sewage treatment plants and some federal and industrial facilities — in the Bay watershed.
At the beginning of 1990, 37 of the a50 major federal facilities in the watershed were in significant noncompliance with at least one of the six major federal environmental laws.
By the end of the year, only four remained in violation — Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa.; Mainside in Quantico, Va.; Industrial Plant Facilities at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va.; and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.
Among the 330 major wastewater dischargers, 27 were in significant noncompliance at the beginning of the year, and 14 were in significant noncompliance at the end of the year — one short of the goal.
Still, that meant only 4 percent of major wastewater dischargers (a facility that discharges 1 million or more gallons of effluent daily) in the Bay watershed were in significant noncompliance. That compares to a national average of 13 percent.
A facility is in significant noncompliance if it violates its discharge permit during four months of a six month period; discharges material that threatens public health; falls more than 90 days behind an agreed upon compliance schedule; or for other technical or procedural violations.
During 1991, EPA and the states will use a long-term strategy to further reduce significant noncompliance among wastewater dischargers in the watershed.
"As a result of intensive efforts by EPA, the Bay states, and the federal agency community, we established an ambitious benchmark for compliance," said Edwin B. Erickson, EPA Region III administrator.
"We congratulate the 90 percent of federal facilities that had serious violations in December 1989 and have since resolved those violations or are on a formal compliance schedule. Our goal in 1991 will be to reach 100 percent compliance at federal facilities and develop a long range plan to maintain this level of success so that they can truly be considered models of compliance."
Facilities that Region III listed as being in significant noncompliance included:
Eastern Stainless (private)
Potomac Electric Power (private)
Loewengart & Co. (private)
Standard Steel (private)
New Holland (public)
Staffor, Aquia (public)
USMC Quantico Mainside (federal)
District of Columbia
Washington Aqueduct (federal)