Update on the Cheapeake Bay Cleanup Plan

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I shared news several weeks ago on the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan, put forward by the EPA, which is being challenged by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural lobbyists. Just as a refresher, the American Farm Bureau et. al. is challenging the EPA’s ability to establish pollution limits and enforce related restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. Most of the plantiffs are located west of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and are not affected by standards set in this region. However, there are a lot of large scale agricultural groups challenging the Bay Cleanup Plan, as they fear legislation in the Chesapeake watershed could become a precedent in their own watersheds.

Many actors in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have a very different outlook on the issue. Legislators have been working with various interest groups, including smaller scale agricultural groups, to set reasonable pollution limits. Organizations like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has issued a petition against the outsider states that have been interfering in the Bay Cleanup Plan. State legislators in the Chesapeake watershed have stood with the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan, most recently the Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring. The attorney general filed a friend-of-the-court brief last Thursday, declaring that Virginia will defend the EPA’s regulatory abilities in the case of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan. (A link to the brief can be found at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation).

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