- 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
- 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
- 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 macroinvertebrate)
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
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
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
- 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
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.