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The Environmental Protection Agency Promises To Be Tough on Pollution

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By Jonathan Wilson

The Environmental Protection Agency says Chesapeake Bay watershed states and D.C. could face stiffer pollution reduction requirements and other consequences for not meeting bay restoration goals.

But a leading environmental group isn't satisfied.

EPA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator Shawn Garvin is sending the letter to the District as well as six states -- including Maryland and Virginia.

Garvin says he's hopeful the consequences outlined in the letter won't be necessary.

"We have confidence in the states to meet each of these deadlines, and this provides a backstop if they don't," says Garvin.

The head of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation -- Will Baker -- says he's disappointed the stricter rules will not be applied to restoration commitments announced this past May. The EPA says it will apply the conditions to strategies still being developed.

"The EPA made announcements of what they intend to do -- we want them to show us with action," says Baker. "Show us that they are willing to stand up to reduce pollution today, and not tomorrow."

The EPA will also provide more than $11 million to states in the coming year to help with bay restoration - more than double the amount provided a year ago.

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