The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just launched a map to communicate areas where they’ve take action to enforce air and water pollution infractions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The map is a means to target those that are contributing the greatest amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in order to improve the water quality in this fragile ecosystem.
The EPA began tabulating and communicating enforcement actions just last year, and the map is a new means to communicate their actions. In the past year, the EPA has taken action against 248 facilities in nine states and the District of Columbia with penalties of $7.2 million and agreements by organizations to invest more than $731 million to reduce pollution into the bay. The cumulative actions are projected to reduce 16 million pounds of nitrogen oxides into the air, 2,100 pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, and 82 million pounds of sediment.
The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest and most biologically diverse estuary, home to more than 3,700 species of plants and animals. With these actions, the bay will be well on its way to recovery over time, but only if enforcement continues to be vigilent. You can read more about the EPA’s strategy for this important estuary here.