- In 2016, the Chesapeake Stormwater Network completed a study to determine the relative amount of toxic contaminant reduction that might occur across the range of best management practices implemented as part of the nutrient- and sediment-focused Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL). Part One of the study examines how practices meant to control stormwater can remove urban toxic contaminants from the environment, while Part Two examines how the agricultural and wastewater sectors influence antibiotics, biogenic hormones and pesticides.
- In 2016, the Toxic Contaminants Workgroup completed a story map depicting the extent of jurisdiction-listed waters that are impacted by PCBs. Additional maps that depict the need for, development of and presence of active PCB Total Maximum Daily Loads were built to help partners target activities related to PCB reductions.
- During 2016, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement personnel conducted four PCB inspections at facilities in the watershed.
- Supporting jurisdictional monitoring programs for PCB occurrence in order to assess the need for new TMDLs at the local level and to track progress related to reducing PCB loads.
- Encouraging the use of high-sensitivity congener-based methods to analyze PCBs to ensure PCB sources are being characterized accurately when such characterization can help with source identification.
- Identifying barriers and opportunities related to the more frequent use of EPA Method 1668a for contaminated sites, wastewater and regulated and unregulated stormwater dischargers.
- Developing guidance on the integration of the various programs that address toxic contaminants in order to reduce inconsistencies in analytical methods, target thresholds and investigation and remediation approaches.
- Developing guidance on the control and reduction of PCBs in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-regulated stormwater and wastewater, to include an inventory of stormwater best management practice options.
- Using data compilations, monitoring results, guidance documents and other outputs of this management strategy to the extent possible to implement local TMDLs.
- Determining consistent measures that can be used throughout the watershed to track local TMDL development and implementation progress.
- Determining whether jurisdictions should compile existing PCB monitoring data for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and assisting with the development of systems to compile all available information in order to determine whether there is a need for additional monitoring requirements to support TMDL development and implementation.
- Reviewing the 2011 National-scale Air Toxics Assessment in order to identify sources of and exposures to air toxics (including PCBs) within the watershed.
- Reviewing the 2015 National-scale Air Toxics Assessment in order to determine whether there is a need to further investigate atmospheric sources of PCBs and/or the characterization of PCB concentrations in atmospheric deposition to the Bay and its watershed and to determine the significance of these sources to toxic contaminant bioaccumulation in fish.
- Tracking sites in the watershed that are under evaluation by the Hazardous Site Cleanup Division and developing a desktop GIS tool to help this division identify potential on-land sources of contamination in the region.
- Working with the Hazardous Site Cleanup Division and Toxic Contaminants Workgroup to evaluate sites and identify industries or processes that used PCBs in order to allow the Superfund, Brownfields and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act programs to better focus resources on identifying and investigating these kinds of sites.
- Using the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits Branch to ensure permits are consistent with local TMDLs and PCB Wasteload Allocations are clear and enforceable.
- Working through the EPA Land and Chemicals Toxics Program to ensure compliance with Toxic Substances Control Act regulations related to PCBs.
- Compiling educational materials regarding existing procedures and best practices for PCB containment and release prevention.
- Coordinating a voluntary action program to reduce the presence of transformers and other equipment containing PCBs, providing program participants with information on remediating on-site PCB contamination and using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Screening Tool to identify where such equipment is located in areas with diverse populations.
- Supporting research on cost-effective tools for track-down studies and providing a mechanism for municipalities to share lessons learned.
July – December 2016
- Publishing the April 7, 2010, Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (to reassess the ongoing authorized uses of PCBs to determine whether certain authorizations should be ended or phased out because they can no longer be justified under the Toxic Substances Control Act) in the Federal Register for Public Comment.
- Developing communications materials and corresponding procedures for their dissemination to inform communities of the risks associated with consuming contaminated fish.
January – December 2017
- Assessing available and forthcoming information on the watershed’s most highly contaminated in-stream sediments in order to engage jurisdictions and federal regulators in exploring the feasibility of taking additional remedial actions.
Actions in Maryland
- Overseeing PCB cleanup at the Lockheed Martin plant in Middle River, Md. (February 2018)
Two-Year Work Plan
Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to taking specific actions over the course of 2016 and 2017 to achieve the high-level approaches identified in the management strategy for the Toxic Contaminants Policy and Prevention outcome. These actions are listed below. More information about performance targets, participating entities and influential factors can be found in the full work plan.