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Chesapeake Bay Threatened Again by Continuing Litigation



On the heels of a favorable court ruling that would have helped to revitalize the Chesapeake Bay under the Clean Water Act, environmental advocates are now finding that the sanctity of the Bay is already being challenged again.


On September 27, a U.S. District Court Judge in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Sylvia Rambo, ruled that a coalition of six states and the District of Columbia could proceed with stronger regulations on construction along waterways and agricultural runoff affecting the Bay. Now, the American Farm Bureau Federation has filed a brief with the Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia appealing that ruling.


William C. Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) , commented, “It is disappointing that so much effort has to be spent in the courts, versus on cleaning up the Bay and its rivers and streams.” At the same time he added, “We are confident that the Bay clean-up plan will be upheld on appeal.”


The Farm Bureau alleges that the September 27 ruling gives the Environmental Protection Agency the right to stop farmers from farming. CBF vice president for litigation Jon Mueller calls this contention, “patently false.”


What You Can Do


With roots tracing back to 1964, CBF is the largest regional nonprofit conservation organization working solely to save the Chesapeake Bay. Although the organization predicts that the Rambo ruling will be upheld, it nonetheless anticipates high legal fees and is calling for donations to assist in its litigation efforts.