“This week, Food & Water Watch and Friends of the Earth filed a joint lawsuit to force the Environmental Protection Agency to preserve the integrity of the Clean Water Act as it turns 40 years old this month. Represented by the Columbia Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic, we are suing for the removal of the water pollution trading provisions that are part of the 2010 plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
“This cap-and-trade plan for water, known as the Bay total maximum daily load or TMDL, is being promoted by both the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, both of which view the program in the Bay region as a national model that would be replicated in watersheds across the nation. But if this scheme is allowed to move forward it will allow new and increased pollution discharges into the Chesapeake Bay watershed under a complex system of market-based offsets and pollution trading that we believe is illegal under the Clean Water Act.
“Pollution trading violates the fundamental concept that the Clean Water Act is built upon, which is that pollution is illegal and industries don’t have a right to poison our shared waterways. Ironically, this evisceration of the Clean Water Act is taking place as the landmark piece of legislation that was passed during the Nixon Administration is about to have its 40th anniversary. It is built on the premise that we should strive to eliminate water pollution from our lakes, rivers and bays. Water pollution trading schemes are a disastrous substitute for proven means of regulating harmful chemical discharges into our waterways.”
Read more: Huffington Post