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Environmental Groups Hope New Tool Will Improve Accountability On The Bay

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

Efforts to clean up the Chesapeake bay have long suffered from an accountability problem. But that may be changing.

For decades, states and the Environmental Protection Agency have been making and breaking promises to clean up the Bay. Last year, they began making commitments with 2 year horizons. That way at least the public could find out if promises were being kept before the people who made them left office.

Now, a new online system called Chesapeake Stat is providing data on spending, water quality and progress toward specific goals to help further improve accountability.

Beth McGee, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a group that was, up until last month, suing the EPA for failing to clean the Bay, says the new transparency will be useful.

"We've tried to look at how the states are doing relative to what they committed last year and this year and it was really difficult with the info that's currently available to track that," says McGee.

So far, McGee says it appears progress on this round of 2 year goals has been mixed.

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