Lawsuit: EPA fails to enforce Chesapeake Bay pollution caps

Norfolk

FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2019 file photo, watermen dredge for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland near Ridge, Md. A lawsuit filed Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, by the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation and others, is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to ensure that Pennsylvania and New York are doing enough to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Attorneys general from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia say they’ve filed a similar lawsuit. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP/WAVY) — A lawsuit argues that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to ensure that Pennsylvania and New York are doing enough to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

The suit was filed Thursday by the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation and others.

Attorneys general from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia say they’ve filed a similar lawsuit.

The litigation stems from an agreement among watershed states to fully implement a pollution-reduction plan for the bay by 2025.

The suit says the EPA is allowing Pennsylvania and New York to lag behind.

The EPA said in a statement that it is “fully committed” to working with states to meet the 2025 goals.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam released a statement on the lawsuit Thursday:

“Years ago, the EPA, the states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the District of Columbia agreed to a common strategy to restore America’s most beautiful estuary. But not all states are living up to that commitment, and the EPA is just standing by.

“I am committed to achieving the Bay partnership’s restoration goals by 2025, and as Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I intend to move quickly to execute the Council’s plan for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

“This will require a strong and engaged partnership—including the EPA holding each partner accountable to the commitments they made. Federal leadership and state partnership are the right way to restore the Chesapeake Bay, and I am grateful to Attorney General Herring for his leadership on this issue.”


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