Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of EPA plan to cut agricultural pollution in Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay drains parts of six states.
"The Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, the largest attempt by the federal government and states to rid the pollution from a body of water and to restore its health," Daryl Fears reports for The Washington Post. That means that a 2013 U.S. District Court ruling stands and "the Environmental Protection Agency is within its rights under the Clean Water Act to partner with the six states in the bay watershed to cut the pollution that pours in from sewers, construction developments and chemical and biological waste from farms," largely poultry and pork.

Critics said the groups leading the challenge showed no interest in the bay before the suit was filed in 2011, "and they called it a strategic effort to preempt the federal government from regulating pollution that runs off mega-farms it represents into the Mississippi River," Fears reports. The American Farm Bureau Federation led the charge to stop the cleanup, arguing "that EPA overstepped its authority in leading the effort because the bay can be managed only by the states that sit in its watershed." Attorneys general in 21 states joined Farm Bureau's appeal of the lower-court decision. Mostly Republicans, they argued that, “If this (cleanup) is left to stand other watersheds, including the Mississippi River Basin, could be next." (Read more)

No comments: