BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland environmental officials are backing off plans to meet Chesapeake Bay restoration goals five years ahead of other states in the bay watershed.

The state’s “Bay Cabinet” of agency heads has decided to revert to the 2025 goal set by the federal restoration strategy.

The Maryland Department of the Environment says the decision followed discussions with county officials submitting their plans for meeting the strategy’s goals.

Some jurisdictions asked for more time after learning how much the restoration effort would cost. Baltimore, for example, estimates bay restoration efforts will cost more than $250 million over the next six years and Baltimore County estimates it will need up to $200 million. Anne Arundel County says upgrading septic systems and reducing storm water runoff will total more than $1.6 billion.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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