Md. to Take Legal Action Against Pa., EPA Over Chesapeake Bay Po - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. to Take Legal Action Against Pa., EPA Over Chesapeake Bay Pollution

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)


ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced he has directed Attorney General Brian Frosh to pursue legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania for that state's deficient Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. 

Hogan said that since his campaign for governor in 2014, he has repeatedly called on upstream states—including Pennsylvania—to step up and take responsibility for sediment and debris that pours into the Chesapeake Bay via the Susquehanna River.

“We have a generational responsibility to protect the bay, and we simply cannot afford to fall short of these shared obligations,” Hogan wrote. “Therefore, I ask that you commence litigation against the EPA and Pennsylvania, and in close coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment.”

Read the governor’s letter to the Attorney General here.

In August, after watershed states submitted their final Chesapeake Bay clean-up plans to the federal administration, Hogan expressed “alarming concerns” about Pennsylvania’s lack of progress on clean water goals and called on the EPA to use its robust oversight powers to hold states accountable.

“Pennsylvania, which is under ‘enhanced’ or ‘backstop’ federal oversight due to failed pollution reduction efforts, has proposed a draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan under which it would fall drastically short of its agreed-upon 2025 pollution reduction targets,” wrote Hogan. “The EPA currently appears to have no intention of taking the necessary action to ensure Pennsylvania’s compliance with its commitments.”

The nonprofit environmental group, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said Thursday it supports Hogan's directive. In a statement, CBF President Will Baker said, "We commend Gov. Hogan for pursuing legal options. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint requires all states in the watershed to do their part and EPA to hold them accountable. So far, Pennsylvania’s elected officials have not made the investments needed to meet their clean water commitments. And EPA’s failure to impose consequences puts the entire cleanup at risk.”

Hogan is serving his second term as chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which consists of the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA administrator. Hogan noted that as governor, he has committed $5 billion toward bay restoration initiatives, and was recently successful in securing an increase in federal funding for bay cleanup.

 

 

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