The Environmental Protection Agency on May 12 released a strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay that includes developing a tough, new total maximum daily load (TMDL) for pollutants. EPA says the TMDL, with a Dec. 31 deadline, will be the most complex ever, affecting 483 large treatment plants and thousands of smaller facilities. The plan requires federal agencies to set milestones every two years to ensure measurable environmental goals are met.

On May 11, EPA announced a settlement of a 2009 lawsuit filed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The agreement sets dates by which EPA must take certain actions, such as developing a final bay TMDL. Jonathan Cannon, a former EPA general counsel, says the pact will ensure EPA holds states accountable.