On May 5-6, the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) met in Alexandria, VA. Both Committees spent time separately discussing recommendations they will make to the Chesapeake Executive Council (EPA Administrator, Governors of VA, MD, and PA, the Mayor of DC and the Chair of the tri-state legislative Chesapeake Bay Commission) at this year’s annual meeting.

Additionally, the two committees met jointly to discuss the Bay jurisdiction’s approach to the more detailed, Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans to meet the region’s new “pollution diet”, called the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). CAC and LGAC shared their citizens’ and local governments’; perspectives with guests of the Committees representing EPA, other federal agencies, the Bay states and DC.

In addition to the joint meeting with the LGAC, CAC received a briefing on the recently released National Academy of Science independent evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s accountability and 2-year milestones goal setting approach. CAC heard presentations from two local governments and the Rivanna River Basin Commission about their perspectives on Virginia’s plan to meet the Bay’s new pollution diet, called the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

The Committee continued to discuss water quality nutrient credit trading programs. CAC learned about a successful citizen engagement program called the Watershed Stewards Academy which is coordinated by the Arlington Echo outdoor Education Center in Maryland. CAC meet with a representative of EPA Region 3 to learn more about EPA’s authority, regulation and oversight in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

The LGAC members heard updates on D.C.’s Watershed Implementation Plan to meet the Bay TMDL and discussed lessons learned from one of VA’s local pilot projects for the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan. LGAC also participated in a communications workshop for local officials conducted byEric Eckl of Water Words that Work.

You can learn more about the Local Government Advisory Committee & the Citizen Advisory Committee by visiting their individual pages on the ACB website.