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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Environment - AG Zoeller co-authors amicus brief challenging Chesapeake Bay cleanup

Although Attorney General Zoeller is concerned about Asian Carp in the Wabash, he is challenging a plan crafted by US EPA and the Chesapeake Bay watershed states to save the Bay.

Zoeller, on behalf of the State of Indiana, joined the states of Missouri and Kansas as authors of an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in a case in the Third Circuit: American Farm Bureau Federation, et al v. US EPA (13-4079). The "et al" are Penn. Farm Bureau, Fertilizer Institute, US Poultry & Egg Assn., National Pork Producers Council, National Corn Growers Assn., and National Assn. of Home Builders.

Here is a copy of the 41-page amicus brief.

The lawsuit by the big agricultural interests challenges the joint US EPA/state plan to save the Bay by limiting the total maxiumum daily load, under the Clean Water Act, of nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants, mostly agricultural runoff, that enters the Chesapeake Bay's waters. The District Court found in favor of the plan.

Dave Stafford of The Indiana Lawyer has extensive coverage in a story today headed "Indiana joins suit seeking to halt EPA-led plan to clean up Chesapeake Bay." The introduction:

Decades of squabbles over cleaning up one of America’s most historic but polluted waters resulted in an agreement between states and the federal government that supporters say could restore the Chesapeake Bay to a swimmable, fishable national treasure.

But if Indiana and other states without a direct stake in the Chesapeake have their way, the cleanup hashed out between bay states and the Environmental Protection Agency will be stopped.

“To have states outside the bay region file briefs to oppose how we’ve resolved this historic and very thorny problem, I have to say, is a little surprising,” said Jon Mueller, vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “It’s a little short-sighted in my view.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 26, 2014 10:47 AM
Posted to Environment