Sunday, September 15, 2013

Judge upholds EPA’s cleanup rules for Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by farm industry groups to block federal and state pollution limits designed to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay by more tightly regulating wastewater treatment, construction along waterways and agricultural runoff.

The Associated Press reports:


U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo in Harrisburg ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was within its authority to work with six states and Washington, D.C., to set and enforce standards to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that drain from rivers into the bay and harm the ecology of the nation’s largest estuary.

In her 99-page decision Friday, Rambo rejected arguments that the EPA overstepped its bounds under the federal Clean Water Act, created an unfair process and used standards that were flawed or unlawfully complicated.
The EPA and the group of Chesapeake Bay states “undertook significant efforts to preserve the framework of cooperative federalism, as envisioned by the (Clean Water Act),” Rambo wrote. The act is “an ‘all-compassing’ and ‘comprehensive’ statute that envisions a strong federal role for ensuring pollution reduction.”
The American Farm Bureau, which originally filed the suit in 2011, was still reviewing the decision Saturday and did not immediately say whether it would appeal.
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