Tag Archive for 'Chesapeake Bay'

States move to limit EPA’s clean water authority

Photo retrieved from: www.msnbc.com

“Florida, Texas and Alaska are nowhere near the Chesapeake Bay. But that hasn’t stopped those states from trying to intervene in the EPA’s cleanup of the mid-Atlantic estuary.

Earlier this month, the attorneys general from those states and 18 others filed an amicus brief [PDF] on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which is suing to limit the extent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort. The Farm Bureau argues that the EPA exceeded its authority in regulating the amount of pollutants flowing into the bay, which the federal agency says is severely contaminated.

At question is how far the EPA can go in setting limits to ”the maximum amount of pollution a body of water can receive and still meet state water quality standards.” According to the Farm Bureau, the EPA exceeded its legal authority by trying to determine how much individual polluters would have to cut back, instead of just setting an overall so-called “Total Maximum Daily Load” and allowing the states to determine how it would be parceled out.

“These are uniquely local decisions that should be made by local governments,” said Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman in a statement. “That is why this power is specifically withheld from EPA in the Clean Water Act.”

The amicus brief, which was signed by 18 Republican attorneys general and three Democrats, seconds this line of argument. Although all but one of the 21 signatories hail from states which do not border the Chesapeake Bay, they say that the case has national implications. A legal regime which gives the EPA the power to closely regulate pollution in the bay could give it equivalent power in contaminated bodies of water across the United States.”

Read more: MSNBC


Chesapeake Bay Case Settled With Nation’s Largest Water Cleanup Plan

“Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay entered a new phase today as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, its co-plaintiffs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled their lawsuit with a binding agreement that will require pollution to be reduced across the nation’s largest estuary.

“The settlement requires EPA to take specific actions by dates certain to ensure that pollution to local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay is reduced enough to remove the bay from the federal “dirty waters” list, said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William Baker.

“When we filed our notice of intent in October 2008, EPA had been missing in action for years. The Bush administration had 60 days to respond, but consistent with its previous eight years it did nothing,” said Baker.

“We filed suit on January 5, 2009, and began negotiations with the new administration. While it has taken longer than we would have liked, we are very pleased with the results and commend Lisa Jackson and her senior staff for their willingness to work through the bureaucracy to obtain this game-changing agreement,” he said.”

read more: AlterNet