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DC, Maryland, and Virginia to sue EPA for failing to protect Chesapeake Bay

Christian Fernsby |
Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced that the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, including the Potomac River.

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In a Notice of Intent letter, the Attorneys General of DC, Maryland, and Virginia informed the EPA that they intend to file suit over the agency’s failure to uphold the terms of a multistate agreement to reduce pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay in violation of its duty under the Clean Water Act.

The EPA has a legal duty to make sure states and the District develop and implement plans to meet established pollution reduction goals, but the agency has failed to require New York and Pennsylvania to develop and implement adequate plans.

This places additional burdens on all the other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) seeks to compel the EPA to resume its critical enforcement role in ensuring pollution is reduced and the health of the Bay is restored.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, and home to thousands of plant and animal species.

The Bay’s watershed spans 64,000 square miles and includes rivers and streams in the District, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia.

Efforts to protect the Bay are uniquely challenging because water from each of those states flows into it, bringing significant amounts of harmful pollution with it.

Over the decades, the Bay’s water quality has diminished, primarily due to pollution.

The watershed states and the federal government have long worked together to improve the quality of their own local waters, including the Potomac River in the District, and to restore the health of the Bay.


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