The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) announced its fourth annual list of the South’s most endangered places last week. The list included the Chesapeake Bay.
“For decades the Bay has suffered from pollution from all sides—air, land, and water. Unfortunately, industry interests and their political allies are doing all they can to impede a comprehensive rescue plan,” said SELC, the largest environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the Southeast.
Who is trying to impede Bay restoration? For starters, the American Farm Bureau Federation and a host of national agricultural lobbying groups -- The Fertilizer Institute, National Pork Producers Council, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Chicken Council, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, and the National Turkey Federation -- are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the federal-state cleanup initiative. Also suing to stop Bay cleanup is the “voice of the housing industry,” the National Home Builders Association.
But it’s not just the Bay under attack, SELC noted. “Many of the areas on SELC’s Top 10 list are endangered by pressure to undercut environmental protections and to lower the hurdles for potentially destructive projects, whether it’s fracking in the North Carolina Piedmont, uranium mining in Virginia, or deepwater drilling in the Gulf.”