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EPA Calls Out Virginia

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it will spend nearly a half billion dollars on Chesapeake Bay restoration in the coming year to help states comply with growing pressure from the federal government to restore the bay. But not all states are falling in line.

The plan includes money for controling agricultural runoff and stormwater that washes nitrogen and phosphorous into the Chesapeake Bay. But states are already showing mixed progress.

Last week the EPA said restoration roadmaps from the District and Maryland were in good shape, but several other states, notably Virginia, were not.

The EPA complained that Virginia actually removed regulations that would clean up agricultural runoff, had no plans for inspections, and instead of presenting a detailed plan, offered up a few vague statements.

Virginia's Secretary of the Environment Doug Domenech countered that the state was still reeling from recession and said the EPA's plans to crack down on runoff and sediment would cause economic harm to it's citizens.

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