In the Courtroom
Having filed a lawsuit in 2010, CBF continues its active litigation which seeks a full investigation and cleanup of pollution at the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore, Maryland. © 2010 Garth Lenz/iLCP
To Protect, Enforce, and Bring About Change
CBF's Litigation Department uses carefully chosen legal action as another tool for advancing the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers, lakes, and streams. Litigation is used to not only protect and enforce the current environmental laws but to bring about environmentally friendly change within our legal system. CBF attorneys argue cases in the federal and state courts within the watershed and file amicus curiae—also called Friend of the Court—briefs in related environmental lawsuits.
Carefully executed litigation serves three primary purposes:
- It spurs enforcement efforts against those who violate laws that were created to protect the watershed.
- It helps define and drive the agenda for public debate over restoration and protection of the Bay.
- It delivers concrete and enforceable progress in resource restoration.
Learn more about CBF's active cases, concluded cases, and amicus curiae briefs.
EPA's Pollution Limits for the Chesapeake Bay Are Under Legal Assault.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, The Fertilizer Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Chicken Council, the National Association of Home Builders, and other lobbying groups are trying to eliminate the pollution limits. The fate of these limits and the state clean-up plans—in other words, the whole Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—may hinge on what happens in federal court. CBF and others gave their oral arguments in this case in October 2012. A ruling has not yet been issued.
CBF is also working in court to support new EPA regulations to reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, which contaminates fish and thus puts human health at risk. The federal hazardous air pollutant standards would make a cleaner and healthier Bay, but they have been challenged in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., by power companies and others.
Junior Girl Scout troup 10324 of Sparrows Point, Maryland, displays the plaque CBF presented to the troop for its commitment to the Blueprint. Photo by Kimbra Cutlip/CBF Staff
Girl Scouts Defending the Future
Ten-year-old Melek has grown up fishing, swim- ming, and watching osprey raise their young on Jones Creek in Baltimore County. The Chesapeake has always been her playground. So when her grandmother told her that officials from 21 states as far away as Alaska would be fighting against clean water in her own back yard, she was confused and upset.