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The head of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program stepped back from strict enforcement of 2025 pollution goals for the Chesapeake Bay Friday, calling the technical targets “an aspiration” and not an enforceable deadline.

The comments by program Director Dana Aunkst near the end of a two-day conference in Annapolis sparked criticism from state officials and outrage from several environmental groups who said the comments represent the Trump administration’s retreat from the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort.

States in the bay watershed are supposed to have measures in place by 2025 that will get them to pollution reduction goals — the total daily maximum load, or TMDL — under targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010.

But in discussing what happens after that date, Aunkst told those attending the Chesapeake Bay Commission meeting that the 2025 target is not a deadline. He said the 2010 targets only inform regulatory decisions.

– CAPITAL GAZETTE | JAN 03, 2020