New job will coordinate local efforts to meet EPA Chesapeake ‘pollution diet’
July 28, 2011
MARTINSBURG - To get an accurate accounting of local efforts to comply with new, strict pollution-control requirements, the Region 9 Planning and Development Council has created a Chesapeake Bay project manager.
Carol Goolsby, Region 9 executive director, announced Wednesday that Matthew Pennington has been hired to fill the new position. Pennington was a planner for the Berkeley County Planning Department.
"He will develop and maintain a database quantifying efforts of local entities relating to (the Chesapeake Bay restoration program)," she explained in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Goolsby said Pennington also will assist local governments and agencies to develop policies to implement the Chesapeake Bay program, generate public awareness of the program and work with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on its Water Implementation Plan for the bay watershed, among other responsibilities and duties.
The idea of a bay program coordinator for Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties came out of a Jefferson County Council of Governments meeting in May.
Representatives of Jefferson County Commission and Ranson and Charles Town councils wanted to keep track of what local jurisdictions as well as nongovernmental organizations are doing to improve water quality and get credit for their work.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia to drastically reduce pollution getting into the bay via its tributaries, like the Potomac River.
The Potomac is a major tributary of the bay and the greater, eight-county Eastern Panhandle is in the Potomac River basin.
EPA's new regulations, dubbed a "pollution diet," put dramatically lower limits on the amounts of nutrient and sediment that can be discharged into bay tributaries from wastewater treatment plants, agricultural operations and stormwater runoff.
Pennington's position is funded through an EPA Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Grant that is administered by the WVDEP, Goolsby said. Region 9 is a subrecipient, she said.
The grant is for $100,000 with a local $25,000 in-kind service match, she said.
The bay project manager is a contract position and is funded for one year, but it could be extended for another four years depending on the availability of grant and matching funds, Goolsby said.
Pennington starts on Aug. 8.