Watershed Implementation Plan II

Current News

  • Three public forums to provide information on the development of the Prince George's County Watershed Implementation Plan were held on August 16, September 7, and October 18 at the Prince George's County Soil Conservation District office, Beltsville Community Center, and Maryland Park and Planning Commission Headquarters, respectively.

  • Click below to see the responsiveness summary developed to address written comments from the August, September, and October public forums.

  • Click here to see the October 18th Public Forum PowerPoint presentation by Samuel E. Wynkoop, Jr., Director of the Department of Environmental Resources.

  • Click here to view the WIP II PowerPoint presentation made by Samuel E. Wynkoop, Jr., Director of the Department of Environmental Resources, to the County Council on November 10, 2011.

  • Click here to view the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

  • Click here to view the WIP 2-Year Milestones.

Prince George's County Watersheds

Healthy watersheds provide plentiful drinking water, habitat for fish and wildlife, and water for irrigation, industry, and recreational activities.

Prince George's County's forests, wetlands, and streams provide recreational and educational opportunities for the citizens of the County as well as the State. Although many of the steams are degraded, the County does have high quality streams. Fifteen high quality streams have been identified and designated as Tier II waters by the State. Waters are designated Tier II because they exceed applicable water quality standards. This designation is based on the Maryland Biological Stream Survey data (both fish and macro invertebrate) index scores of 4 or greater. In addition, Prince George's County has watersheds that are home to rare, threatened, or endangered species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, or mussels. These watersheds, known as Maryland's "Stronghold Watersheds", are the places where rare, threatened, or endangered species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, or mussels have the highest numbers.

The conversion of forest and wetlands to agricultural and urban land uses, without proper stormwater management or conservation practices to help protect water quality, has resulted in degradation of our streams, decline in forest and wetland habitats, and a decrease in recreational opportunities. Protecting and improving water quality is and will continue to be a priority for the County. Identification of restoration, retrofit, and preservation opportunities as well as other strategies will be needed to reduce pollutant loads to address the Bay TMDL for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.

A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can assimilate and still meet water quality standards and designated uses. A TMDL is required for each impairment, thus a watershed can have more than one TMDL. Additional information can be found at the Maryland’s Department of Environment's website The Chesapeake Bay TMDL and Maryland's Watershed Implementation Plan  

prince georges major watersheds 

Bay TMDL and Watershed Implementation Plans

On December 29, 2010, EPA issued its Final Chesapeake Bay TMDL for the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed spanning six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia) and the District of Columbia. The Bay TMDL is a 'pollution diet' that sets a maximum loading of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment that each jurisdiction can release to waters that reach the Chesapeake Bay. The intent of the Bay TMDL is to restore and protect the Bay and its tributaries.

In addition to setting these limits known as the Bay TMDLs, EPA required the Bay states to developed statewide "Phase I" Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs). The Phase I WIP allocates the allowable load among different sectors (wastewater, septic systems, agriculture, and urban) and identifies statewide strategies for reducing nutrients and sediments that impair the Chesapeake Bay. The plans provide a road map for how the States and the District, in partnership with federal and local governments, will achieve and maintain the Bay TMDL nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment allocations necessary to meet Bay water quality standards. The Phase I WIPs set 2-year Milestone Goals for each sector to ensure TMDL is achieved on schedule and provides "Reasonable Assurance" the TMDL can be achieved.

Maryland's Final Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) was submitted to EPA on December 3, 2010. As required by EPA, it includes a State-wide strategy and milestones for meeting those loads in each sector. The Bay TMDL for Maryland calls for reductions of 20.9% in nitrogen, 17.8% in phosphorus and a 12.0% in sediment from the 2009 baseline load. Figures 1 and 2 show the distribution of the estimated 2009 baseline loads compared to interim and final total phosphorus and total nitrogen loads (million lbs/yr) by sector. The draft allocations were distributed to the jurisdictions in June 2011.

In September, EPA released the Phase II allocations (Figure​ 3 and 4). The Phase II planning targets are the results of changes to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model requested by the Bay States.

  • Refine the urban land use data to better represent the total amount of urban and suburban developed land in the watershed, and
  • The effectiveness of management practices by farmers to control pollution on agricultural lands in the watershed.

Additional information on Phase II can be found on MDE Web Site Development Support for the Chesapeake Bay Phase II WIP .

The Maryland strategy established more aggressive deadlines for achieving nutrient and sediment reductions than the EPA dates. EPA set the year 2017 to achieve 60% of the needed implementation and 2025 as the deadline for achieving final target loads. Maryland committed to achieve the final target loads by 2020. Consistent with this accelerated implementation date, Maryland's Plan is intended to achieve 70% of the Final Target by 2017, which is reflected in this Phase I Plan. It is recognized that the pollutant reductions and full benefits to the Bay from many of those controls, such as tree plantings, will likely not occur until sometime after 2017.

nitrogen graph
phosphorus graph

The Phase II WIP will refine the Phase I plan to include more local details about where and how nutrient and sediment loads will be reduced to meet the Bay TMDL goals. The Maryland strategy will detail how nutrient and sediment loads will be reduced to meet the 2017 milestone of 70% of the final goal at the County/watershed segment. Although, the Phase II WIP is a State document, required by EPA, Prince George's County is working with the State in developing the plan during 2011. County Agencies involved in the County WIP Phase II include:

  • Department of Environmental Resources
  • Department of Public Works and Transportation
  • Health Department
  • Soil Conservation District
  • MNCPPC Park Department
  • MNCPPC Planning Department
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
  • City of Bowie

Goals of Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan

  • Refinement of Phase I
    • Finalize allocations and refine strategies
    • Provide greater geographic resolution for allocations
  • Increased emphasis on cost and cost effectiveness
    • Develop more cost effective and lower cost strategies
    • Develop funding approaches
    • Trading/offsets
  • Assign responsibility for load reductions
  • Respond to model changes

Federal and State agencies that are responsible for significant pollution and have authority or are required to control them are developing WIPs. The final Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans must be submitted to the EPA for approval by November 1, 2011.

The Phase II WIPs will be revised in 2017 and guide actions necessary to achieve 100% of the nutrient and sediment goal by 2020 for Maryland. EPA requires that the States submit Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans by January 1, 2017.

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