Virginia joins in lawsuit suing EPA over Chesapeake Bay cleanup

Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 17:14:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Virginia is joining Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The suit alleges the EPA has failed to hold other states responsible for upholding their portions of the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement, which calls for states to develop water quality standards. Goals are in place with a deadline of 2025.

The lawsuit says “EPA has failed to ensure that Pennsylvania and New York develop and implement [plans] that achieve and maintain their [pollutant] reductions.”

The bay is considered crucial to the Virginia economy. Because Virginia is downstream, the section of the bay here is more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.

“Meeting our Chesapeake Bay restoration goals will require a strong and engaged partnership—not just with member states, but with the Trump administration and the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council. "I am grateful to Attorney General Mark Herring for his leadership on this issue. Restoring the Chesapeake Bay will require the level of commitment we had from The Obama-Biden EPA, but have not seen from Trump. I am confident that with strong EPA backing, the watershed states can clean up the Bay.”

In response, the EPA issued a statement saying, "EPA is fully committed to working with our Bay Program partners to meet the 2025 goals. We have taken and will continue to take appropriate actions under our Clean Water Act authorities to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality."