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President Trump invited to testify in person or in writing, says Pelosi; a battle over the worth of rooftop-solar electricity when it's sold back to the grid; the flu gets an early start; and the value of Texas family caregivers.

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Former Pres. Barack Obama cautioned Democrats to be more moderate, and incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wins over Trump-backed Republican opponent.

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PA's Stake in Historic Bay Agreement with E.P.A.

May 12, 2010

HARRISBURG, Penn. - Pennsylvania is expected to play a major role in the historic new agreement between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The accord will legally bind the federal agency to accelerate cleanup of the bay, and proponents say the benefits will flow into the Keystone State as well.

Matt Ehrhart, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation of Pennsylvania, says the action gives new teeth to a decades-old piece of legislation.

"This is not a new, unfunded mandate. This is compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. These are rules that have been around since the 70s, and so now, we're being required to comply with the law."

The agreement requires EPA to come up with a pollution control budget for the bay by year's end, and stipulates that Pennsylvania and other states must reduce pollution levels to stay within federal limits. According to Ehrhart, much of the work ahead for Pennsylvania will center on reducing runoff, from agriculture and urban and suburban stormwater.

"We probably don't have all the things in place that we need to have. So, with new federal stormwater regulations coming, Pennsylvania is certainly going to have to move ahead in that arena."

Ehrhart says it's also important for Pennsylvanians not to ignore the issue simply because the Chesapeake Bay isn't adjacent to the state. It borders Maryland and Virginia, but its drainage basin affects six states and more than 150 rivers and streams.

"We have well over 10,000 miles of streams in this state that are impaired or polluted, so there will be a tremendous improvement in our local water quality."

The announcement comes as the Obama administration prepares to unveil its strategy on Wednesday to speed cleanup of the bay.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA