(WASHINGTON, DC)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and 11 partner organizations today sued the Trump administration in federal court for illegally rolling back clean car and fuel economy standards. The administration’s rule is based on massive technical and economic errors and fails to meet core legal requirements.
The Bay region is already grappling with the economic, environmental, and social costs of climate change effects such as sea level rise, warming waters, coastal erosion and flooding, and more frequent and intense storms. Sea level has increased significantly in Baltimore and Norfolk. In Maryland alone, rising waters could destroy more than 61,000 homes—valued at $19 million—by 2100. Allowing carbon dioxide emissions to rise will only exacerbate the hardships the watershed’s ecosystem and its 18 million people face due to climate change.
In addition, roughly one-third of nitrogen pollution in the Bay comes from the air, much of it in the form of nitrogen oxides released from auto exhaust and power plants. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint includes a specific goal to curb emissions because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the critical importance of limiting air pollution to restoring the Bay. The watershed’s six states and the District of Columbia must cut nitrogen significantly under the Blueprint.
The coalition sued EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in separate lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The 12 groups that joined together to file today’s lawsuits are: Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Communities for a Better Environment, Conservation Law Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Public Citizen, Inc., Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists.
A separate coalition, including five of the six watershed states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia, filed parallel lawsuits against EPA and NHTSA today in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
CBF Attorney Ariel Solaski issued the following statement:
“Clean cars are essential to a clean Chesapeake Bay. Allowing dirtier vehicles on the road undermines efforts to restore the Bay and makes the watershed more vulnerable to climate change.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is committed to continuing the fight to save the Bay and the local rivers and streams that feed into it in court.”