A coalition of Chesapeake Bay advocates have filed suit against the EPA, calling for the government agency to honor existing state-federal agreements. The lawsuit focuses on Chesapeake Bay “dead zones” where lobsters and crabs are unable to breathe.
Agreements between the EPA and state governments to curb runoff pollution from farms, suburbs, power plants and storm sewers upstream of the bay have largely failed over the past 25 years. The legal action finds the Chesapeake Bay Foundation teaming up with past opponents, including commercial and recreational watermen groups and former public officials in both Maryland and Virginia.
William Baker, president of the foundation said the action is “the most significant lawsuit ever filed in the history of the Chesapeake Bay restoration.” EPA officials claim that they cannot act without local support and repeated the familiar refrain that lawsuits impede cleanup efforts.
This community action suit echoes ongoing efforts by the Seattle-based Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, a community action group battling for healthy waters in Washington state. This emerging trend in coastal preservation and restoration efforts represents a powerful voice in environmental movements, ushering in new alliances between environmentalists and business interests.
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