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Maryland, Neighbors Sue EPA Over Bay Pollution

September 11th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over upstream pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined counterparts in Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia in accusing the agency of failing to require New York and Pennsylvania to develop bay restoration plans under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

"Earlier this year, I directed the attorney general to take this legal action in keeping with our generational responsibility and shared obligation to enhance, protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. "The bay is a national treasure, and our administration has committed an historic $5 billion toward its restoration. We will continue to work together across state and party lines — holding everyone to account — to meet our restoration goals and obligations."

The plaintiffs allege that though the EPA concluded the plans submitted by Pennsylvania and New York fell short of the watershed plan's goals and lacked sufficient funding, the agency failed to order the states back to the drawing board.

“The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure,” Frosh said in a statement. “Restoring the health of the Bay will take a coordinated, comprehensive effort by each of the watershed states. EPA has walked away from its responsibility to regulate and manage the efforts of the Bay states. Today, we are asking the court to force EPA to do its job.”

The suit was filed Thursday in a federal district court in Washington.

"We know that some of our regional partners are falling behind, and yet the EPA has failed to bring them into compliance," Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement. "Given the EPA's lack of effective action, this lawsuit is necessary to hold both the EPA and other states accountable to meeting their obligations to protect the bay. I will continue fighting to provide federal resources for the Bay and to push EPA to do its job."