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EPA Mid-Atlantic Review Highlights Environmental Progress
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 02/14/2020

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today the release of its 2019 Year-in-Review report, which highlights the successes, major accomplishments and environmental progress through 2019.

"EPA's Mid-Atlantic Region made significant strides in protecting public health and the environment, thanks to the dedication and talents of our employees and the strong relationships we fostered with partners in our states and communities," said Cosmo Servidio, regional administrator, EPA Mid-Atlantic Region. "The highlights in this 2019 Year-in-Review Report are indicative of the hard work we do every day in fulfilling our fundamental responsibility -- promoting cleaner air, land and water in our Region."

EPA Mid-Atlantic (Region 3) accomplishments:

- Region 3 provided $9.5M in Brownfields funding to 24 communities to support planning, assessment, cleanup and job training activities to promote Brownfields redevelopment. Additionally, EPA provided over $2.3M in funding to support state Voluntary Cleanup programs. Outcomes from this federal funding resulted in 132 assessments, 9 cleanups, over 300 jobs created, and $124M leveraged. EPA has also collaborated with state and other partners to deliver 15 community-based training sessions throughout the Region on Brownfields redevelopment.

- Region 3 awarded $275 million from its State Revolving Funds (SRFs) in 2019 - $170 million from the Clean Water SRF and $105 million from the Drinking Water SRF - which capitalizes the states' funds to provide low interest loans for the construction of infrastructure projects for drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, estuary projects, and nonpoint sources such as agriculture. EPA engaged with farmers and local agricultural partners in more than 25 outreach events as well as funded conservation practices that are good for the farm, drinking water, local streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.

- The Chesapeake Bay is experiencing the highest rate of attainment with water quality standards in more than 30 years. The most recent winter blue crab dredge survey estimated that the Chesapeake Bay is home to 594 million blue crabs, a 60 percent increase over the previous year.

- Our newly-established Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division completed more than 1,600 compliance evaluations, settled 112 administrative enforcement actions and negotiated more than 12 judicial settlements. Collectively, more than $36 million was expended by facilities to come back into compliance.

- Air and Radiation Division finalized 39 state plans for reducing air pollution in areas not meeting national health-based ambient air quality standards.

- Deleting a Superfund site from the National Priorities List is an important step towards responsible site reuse. In 2019, the Superfund program deleted two sites: Novak (a partial deletion) & Strasburg. Additionally, the Watson Johnson Landfill Superfund Site in Quakertown, PA achieved construction completion status and served as the backdrop for the celebration of the 2nd Anniversary EPA Superfund Taskforce. At the event, local, state and federal partners highlighted the cleanup accomplishments.

- The Office of Communities, Tribes, and Environmental Assessment successfully convened and led an Environmental Tribal Summit engaging six newly, federally-recognized tribes in the Region while also promoting redevelopment in designated Opportunity Zones.

"We met the diverse environmental challenges of a Region with the nation's largest estuary, rural expanses, and major cities and agricultural centers -- all while realigning our divisions and offices this year to increase our effectiveness," said Servidio. "As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Agency in 2020, we commit to building on these examples of success and continuing the work with our partners to ensure protections our residents need and deserve."

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