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EPA Leads Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Amid Clean Water Act Controversy

Chief Justice John Roberts, of the Supreme Court of the United States, announced last week that SCOTUS will not block a regulation that would limit mercury and other pollutants from power plants. The Court also denied a “pollution diet” proposal for the Chesapeake Bay.

The Environmental Protection Agency led the charge on these two decisions. Unfortunately, the EPA seems to be going through a back and forth motion regarding their recent momentum.

In an article on Triplepundit.com, businesses and agriculture groups told the Baltimore Sun that these decisions could “set a precedent that gives the EPA extensive power over state and local land use.”

These decisions could certainly have an effect on farming around the bay, and in general. Farming land in the U.S. accounts for approximately $2 trillion in real estate value, so the impact of these decisions have an economic impact on the region as well.

Six states have spent many years trying to develop plans to improve the quality of water in the bay. Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia are all looking forward to the limiting of water pollution.

However, reports of the EPA possibly breaking federal laws regarding the Chesapeake Bay, and some of these areas, have recently emerged.

The EPA has removed many waterways in Maryland from the impaired water list. According to Capitalgazette.com, water-keeping organizations alleged the EPA violated the Clean Water Act.

A lawsuit against the EPA alleges that the Maryland Department of the Environment failed to notify the public in a timely manner of its decision to remove 53 waterways from the impaired waters list.

EPA spokesman Robert Daguillard noted that the EPA will review the complaint, but the agency has declined to comment. These decisions will affect many organizations around the bay, as well as the general public.

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