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Consensus: Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan on track

RICHMOND — State and federal officials and environmentalists say the six states and the District of Columbia within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are on pace to restore the nation’s largest estuary.

The consensus emerged Monday from a meeting in northern Virginia of representatives from the states and the district, the Environmental Protection Agency and an independent assessment by environmental groups. They are tracking the progress of one of the largest water pollution control projects in U.S. history.

The assessment is based on a two-year review of goals outlined in a “pollution diet” aimed at reducing the flow of farm and urban runoff and water fouled by sewage and storm overflows from entering the bay. The actions of 17 million people who live within the watershed have devastated marine life with the bay.