The Justice Department, representing EPA, has filed motions to dismiss separate lawsuits filed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and its partners, and the Attorneys General for Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Delaware. The suits were filed after EPA failed to uphold its Clean Water Act (CWA) obligations to ensure Pennsylvania and New York develop plans to reduce pollution sufficiently to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.
As signatories of the Chesapeake Bay 2014 Agreement and in compliance with the Blueprint and CWA, the states committed to developing and implementing plans to reach the pollution-reduction goals, and EPA said it would impose consequences if plans or implementation were insufficient. Final plans submitted by Pennsylvania and New York fall short of the goals, but EPA accepted them anyway.
In response to the motion to dismiss, CBF President William C. Baker issued this statement.
“We are disappointed, but not surprised, that EPA continues abdicating its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. The fate of Bay restoration is now in the hands of the court. If EPA doesn’t require Pennsylvania and New York to meet the commitments to reduce pollution, the Bay and its rivers and streams will never be saved.
“CBF is confident that the court will uphold the legal framework of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, as it has done in the past, and require EPA to do its job. As the Bay’s watchdogs, CBF will pursue every option to hold EPA and the states accountable to their clean water commitments.”