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Amendment to EPA funding bill would strip agency of power to enforce Chesapeake cleanup plan

September 11th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

A bill to fund the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal programs from December through September 2018 would strip the agency of its power to enforce a Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, under a provision Congress approved Friday.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican who represents western Virginia, introduced an amendment to stop what he called EPA efforts to “railroad” and “micromanage” state-by-state work to reduce bay pollution. The House adopted the measure 214-197.

“Congress intended that the implementation of the Clean Water Act be a collaborative approach through which the states and the federal government work together,” Goodlatte said on the House floor Thursday. “This process was not meant to be subject to the whims of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

The EPA imposed a pollution “diet” for the Chesapeake in 2010, requiring states to adopt policies that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that wash into the bay. Bay advocates credit the plan with recent improvements in bay health, and they say its key strength is the federal authority that can hold states to doing their part.

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