Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay decreased from previous years in 2021, according to a new press release from the Chesapeake Bay Program. However, most of the program’s partnering states didn’t meet all their 2021 targets, ahead of a 2025 goal.
“Virginia, reported pollution controls achieved 75 percent of the 2025 reduction goal for nitrogen, 68 percent of the reduction goal for phosphorus and 100 percent of the reduction goal for sediment. The Commonwealth did not meet its 2021 pollution reducing targets for nitrogen and phosphorus but met its target for sediment,” the release states.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is warning people to avoid contact with water in a 12-mile stretch of the James River in Richmond. On Tuesday evening, a Goochland County sewer main ruptured, and remained open for several hours. 300,000 gallons of raw undiluted sewage flowed into Tuckahoe Creek, which flows into the James.
“For the safety of people and pets, VDH is advising that recreational water activities, such as swimming, wading, tubing, and whitewater kayaking (where submersion in the water is likely), should be avoided,” the VDH said in a Thursday press release. “Activities on the waterbodies, which are not likely to result in water submersion (boating, fishing, canoeing), may continue with proper caution to avoid contact with the water.”
Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay-area U.S. representatives and senators are highlighting $83.7 million for the Norfolk Harbor widening and deepening project in President Biden’s recently unveiled $6 trillion budget proposal. The budget provision is a response to a letter Virginia’s congressional and senate delegation sent to Biden in March requesting the funds.
Governor Ralph Northam and governors of other Chesapeake Bay watershed states are asking Congress for $1 billion to help meet 2025 pollution reduction goals. In a letter sent May 13, the officials say that their Billion for the Bay Initiative would help restore the bay and create jobs.