Green Groups Seek to Defend Bay Pollution Diet

Conservation groups seek to defend Chesapeake Bay restoration

05-25-2011 // Tim Wheeler/Baltimore Sun

This article is an excerpt from The Baltimore Sun's B'More Green.

Virgina Beach Pier

Six environmental groups announced today that they are going to court to defend the "pollution diet' put on the Chesapeake Bay by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The groups, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife Federation, have filed a motion in federal court to intervene in the lawsuit filed earlier this year by farming organizations seeking to block the EPA from enforcing the pollution reductions called for under its diet, known bureaucratically as a "total maximum daily load."

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau complained in their suit, filed in Harrisburg, PA, that EPA lacked the scientific basis and legal authority to order cutbacks in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from all sources in the six bay watershed states. Those two farm groups have since been joined by the Fertilizer Institute and national organizations representing corn, chicken and poultry growers.

Spokesmen for the green groups argued that science supports the pollution reductions called for by EPA, and that each state has developed its own plan for making them. They contend EPA action is warranted under the Clean Water Act and overdue, as decades of mostly voluntary efforts by states had failed to make the needed cleanup.

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