(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Yesterday afternoon Attorneys General from 21 states filed an amicus brief in an effort to derail the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint. The American Farm Bureau Federation, The Fertilizer Institute, and other agricultural lobbyist groups have appealed a ruling from a federal court in Pennsylvania that upheld the legality of the federal/state efforts to restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) intervened in the lawsuit in support of restoration efforts. In response to the amicus brief CBF President Will Baker issued the following statement.
"The Chesapeake Bay states have worked with the federal government to develop a Blueprint for clean water in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. And, it is working.
"A group of agricultural lobbyists including the Farm Bureau and The Fertilizer Institute and others sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to overturn the science-based pollution limits on which the Blueprint is based. Judge Rambo, a well-respected federal judge, found as fact that the process for developing the pollution limits was legal and that EPA did not overstep its bounds. In fact, she heralded the interaction between the federal government and the states as cooperative federalism at its best.
"The Farm Bureau and other big-ag lobbying groups have appealed that decision. Now, the Farm Bureau group has recruited 21 states and 8 counties to support overturning the federal judge's ruling. According to their brief they are concerned that if it works here other watersheds, like the Mississippi River Basin, 'could be next.'
"We say to Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Alaska, and the other 17 states, don't tell us how to restore clean water in our backyard. Each of the six Bay states and the District of Columbia—including hard working farmers, businesses, and individuals—are cooperating. Together, we are well on our way to making our rivers and streams safer, improving habitat, protecting human health, and strengthening local economies. Those are good things, at least here."