The Chesapeake Bay TMDL guidelines identify limits and reductions for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. According to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Chesapeake Bay watershed covers about 68,500 square miles encompassing an area including parts of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Different EPA jurisdiction areas in those states are following detailed plans to reduce pollution within each area. The TMDL is made up of “wasteloads” listed from point sources, including large animal-feeding operations, and non-point sources, such as polluted rainfall runoff from agricultural lands.

State legislation is among the methods that will be used to fund wastewater treatment plant upgrades, urban storm water management systems, and agricultural programs, specifically in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Pennsylvania plans to dramatically increase enforcement of state requirements for agriculture and commit state funding to develop and implement technologies for converting animal manure into energy for farms. Regulators in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New York are considering implementation of mandatory programs for agriculture by 2013 if plans for pollution reductions fall behind schedule.