(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President William C. Baker issued this statement after the American Farm Bureau Federation, other agriculture lobbying organizations, and the National Association of Homebuilders requested the Supreme Court to review their challenge to Chesapeake Bay clean-up efforts.
In December, 2010, the Bay jurisdictions and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced pollution limits that would restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. The states developed individual plans to achieve those limits, with a goal of 60 percent implementation by 2017 and 100 percent by 2025. In addition, the states committed to taking specific actions in two-year increments called milestones. Together, the limits, plans, and milestones make up the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and represent what many consider the moment in time for clean water.
Within weeks of the announcement, the Farm Bureau and its allies filed suit in federal court claiming EPA over-reach. After losing in federal District Court, they appealed to the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals. That court agreed with the lower court and rejected the Farm Bureau's claims.
"The Farm Bureau and Homebuilder's decision to seek Supreme Court review of their challenge to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint was both predictable and sad. For years, the agricultural and homebuilder lobbying groups have opposed efforts to restore the Bay.
"The agriculture and development industries need to accept that the Blueprint is the best hope for restoring water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. Their continued reluctance in the face of overwhelming public support stands in stark contrast to the efforts of thousands of farmers and homeowners who have taken action, many at their own expense, to move the Bay clean-up efforts forward. Additionally, these industries should support the Blueprint, if not for water quality, at least for the economic benefits of implementing the Blueprint, conservatively estimated to be an additional $22 billion annually according to a study commissioned by CBF.
"We believe that the Supreme Court will reaffirm the significant factual and legal support for Bay restoration efforts and deny this petition."