Many people filling seats at the Broome County Public Library seemed to have the same thing on their mind: How can area residents afford to comply with upcoming federal water quality regulations?
The Environmental Protection Agency's initiative to clean local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay would include a "pollution diet," known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, in an effort to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment flowing into the bay. The pollutants are responsible for damaging plant, marine and other wildlife that rely on the bay for food and shelter.
A "pollution diet" would set maximum amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus that each state would be allowed to release into the Susquehanna and Chemung rivers in New York -- through agriculture, impervious surface runoff, wastewater treatment facilities and other sources -- both of which are Chesapeake Bay watershed tributaries. Monitoring sites would register, by state, the amount of pollutants existing in bodies of water that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.