The case against the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, which has pitted the American Farm Bureau against the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a years-long legal battle, may finally be coming to an end. The American Farm Bureau and its partners have twice appealed lower court decisions ruling in favor of the EPA’s authority to implement and enforce Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The latest appeal, after a July 2015 decision in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of CBF and the EPA, has brought the case to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court will be deciding which cases to take up in its next session this Friday, February 26. The TMDL case could be chosen. If not, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision stands. Should the Supreme Court justices decide to review, the recent death of Justice Scalia will likely result in an even split among the remaining justices, again leaving the Third Circuit Court decision standing. Updates to follow.
*For more information on the Bay TMDL, please refer to the “Bay Quick Facts.”