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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
July 14, 2008
Catalyst for Improving the Environment
Why We Did This Review
This review summarizes
several evaluations conducted
by the Office of Inspector
General in response to a
congressional request.
We evaluated how well the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is working
with its Chesapeake Bay
partners in cleaning up the
The Chesapeake Bay is North
America's largest and most
biologically diverse estuary
and provides the region
economic and recreational
benefits. Nutrient and
sediment overloading is the
primary cause of water quality
degradation. EPA's
Chesapeake Bay Program
Office is charged with
coordinating federal, State,
and local partners to plan and
implement strategies to meet
the restoration goals of the
EPA Needs to Better Report Chesapeake Bay
Challenges - A Summary Report
What We Found
Despite many noteworthy accomplishments by the Chesapeake Bay partners, the
Bay remains degraded. This has resulted in continuing threats to aquatic life and
human health, and citizens being deprived of the Bay's full economic and
recreational benefits. Through its reporting responsibilities, EPA could better
advise Congress and the Chesapeake Bay community that (a) the Bay program is
significantly short of its goals and (b) partners need to make major changes if
goals are to be met. Current efforts will not enable partners to meet their goal of
restoring the Bay by 2010. Further, new challenges are emerging. Bay partners
need to address:
	uncontrolled land development
	limited implementation of agricultural conservation practices
	limited control over air emissions affecting Bay water quality
EPA does not have the resources, tools, or authorities to fully address all of these
challenges. Farm policies, local land development decisions, and individual life
styles have huge impacts on the amount of pollution being discharged to the Bay.
EPA needs to further engage local governments and watershed organizations in
efforts to clean up the Bay.
What We Recommend
In four prior reports, we made recommendations to the Region 3 Regional
Administrator to address individual sector needs (agricultural, developing lands,
air deposition, and wastewater). In this summary report, we are making
additional recommendations on overall issues to the EPA Administrator.
For further information,
contact our Office of
Congressional and Public
Liaison at (202) 566-2391.
To view the full report,
click o the following link:
We recommend that the EPA Administrator improve reporting to Congress and
the public on the actual state of the Chesapeake Bay and actions necessary to
improve its health. We also recommend that the Administrator develop a strategy
to further engage local governments and watershed organizations to capitalize on
their resources, tools, authorities, and information to advance the mission of the
Chesapeake Bay, and provide the Chesapeake Bay Program Office with the
opportunity to comment on proposed rulemaking related to pertinent air issues.
EPA concurred with all of the recommendations in this report.