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EPA and Defense Sign Resolution on Chesapeake

[EPA press release - September 13, 1984]

Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger today signed a joint resolution pledging cooperative measures to safeguard the quality of Chesapeake Bay waters.

"The states have done a tremendous job in addressing their pollution problems, and the federal government is equally determined to get its own house in order," Ruckelshaus said. "The plan reflected in this joint resolution represents a long-term commitment by DOD that will significantly upgrade the quality of the Chesapeake Bay waters."

The resolution covers more than 50 Department of Defense installations in the Chesapeake Bay region encompassing 400,000 acres.

Under the agreement, the Defense Department (DOD) will give priority consideration to funding pollution abatement projects and studies, develop environmental self-auditing at several installations, review practices to insure quality of environmental improvement, provide information needed to issue or re-issue major National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater discharge permits, and review land management practices at several installations to reduce runoff into the bay. The two agencies will meet annually to evaluate the latter practices.

EPA pledged to issue or re-issue all major DOD NPDES permits in the bay region by September 30, 1985. The permits will include requirements, including reduction or elimination of toxic pollutants, to protect the bay's waters.

EPA in cooperation with delegated states also will conduct an annual compliance inspection at major or significant DOD installations in the bay region, and will provide DOD with technical aid to control nonpoint and other water pollution sources.

The two agencies also will establish single points of contact for review of progress under the resolution. A program review to include appropriate state and local agencies will take place at least annually, and will include a public meeting to report progress.

The resolution is effective until January 1, 1990. At a meeting last month prompted by Senator Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland, several federal agencies including EPA agreed to improve coordination in their cleanup efforts involving the bay.