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Environmental Groups Say Va.'s Pollution-Reduction Plan Has Improved

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Virginia's plan to curb water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay has received special attention because its first draft was widely panned by Environmental Groups and the EPA as well. But Ann Jennings, Virginia Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says this version is a lot better.

"Specifically Virginia has committed to significant reductions from wastewater treatment plants, particularly those plants that are on the James River," Jennings says.

That should ultimately cut down on the algae blooms that plague areas like Hampton Roads every summer.

On agriculture, Virginia says it wants to help farmers use fertilizer more judiciously or take measures to control its runoff, but Jennings say it's not clear they will actually happen or if they'll be funded.

"That is still lacking in this plan, and we hope that there's still time for improvements there," Jennings says.

Virginia estimates the plan will cost $7 billion over 15 years and has said that there's no way it will be able to pay for it without federal assistance.

If the EPA isn't satisified with the plan, the agency will tighten regulations on things under it's control, like certain types of animal farms or wastewater treatment plants.

Supporters of Chesapeake Bay restoration held a rally in October:

WAMU 88.5

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