By Sabri Ben-Achour
The EPA asked states to draw up plans for how they would contribute to restoring the Chesapeake Bay. States have been trying and failing for 25 years to stick to any of their water quality goals so this was part of an attempt by the Obama administration to get things moving.
Virginia's plan offers tax incentives to farmers to use pollution- and erosion-reducing practices, and focuses on expanding the state's pollution cap and trade program. But it also makes a point of not wanting to burden farmers during a recession.
It didn't cut it with environmental groups. J.R. Tolbert, with the Sierra Club, says, "They gave us a plan that was not really a plan - some ideas of things they would be willing to explore. What we needed was concrete actions that the state of Virginia was going to take."
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation called Virginia's plan "stunningly deficient" in details.