The Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Ohio Environmental Council, the Lake Erie Waterkeeper, and the Sierra Club are the most recent organizations to express their support for EPA pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
The EPA pollution limits have been challenged in federal court by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which recruited 21 state Attorneys General -– including in Michigan, Indiana, and Texas -– to join the fertilizer industry, developers, and others in a national crusade against pollution limits. The opponents of the Chesapeake cleanup plan argue that the federal government should not be involved in setting pollution limits, and instead leave such issues to the states. “If this (Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan) is left to stand, other watersheds... could be next,” the opponents wrote in a court brief.
Lyman Welch, a director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, said in a press release this week (February 25) that EPA’s collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay region states in setting pollution limits and creating a cleanup plan should be praised, not challenged in court. He suggested that EPA should set similar pollution limits for Lake Erie, for example.
“When pollution crosses state lines, threatens drinking water and chases people away from the lakes, a partnership of states and EPA only makes sense,” Welch said.