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Controlling Pollution: EPA Continues To Push For Better Plans

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The Environmental Protection Agency had asked D.C., Virginia, Maryland and four other states to come up with plans to reduce water pollution in the region. Their final draft was due yesterday, but not every state made it in on time.

When Virginia told the EPA in September how it planned to curb pollution, the EPA called that plan seriously deficient, saying that while Virginia was promising a lot, it wasn't putting any measures in place to make things happen.

Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources for Chesapeake Bay Restoration Anthony Moore says this time will be different.

"We're hoping EPA will accept this plan, and we look forward to continuing to work with EPA," Moore says.

Among the changes will be resource management plans for 60 percent of farmland within six years.

D.C.'s plan initially got a warm reception, but the final draft has hit a snag.

"We're hamstrung," says Christophe Tulou, director of D.C.'s Department of the Environment. "There's an expectation on EPA's part that we will force federal agencies to do the things that they need to do in order to conform with our stormwater management requirements, which we don't have the authority to do."

Notably, federal agencies won't pay stormwater management fees, since it views them as taxes and local governments can't tax the federal government.

Maryland says that it's plan will be late -- it's still incorporating a mountain of public comment.

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