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Newspaper Applauds Judge’s Bay Ruling

DSC_0315Bay Daily colleague Tom Pelton reported last week on an important court ruling affirming the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the federal-state plan to restore the Bay by 2025.

“In a major victory for Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts, a federal judge has ruled against a legal challenge of EPA pollution limits for the Bay by the agriculture industry and developers,” Pelton wrote and quoted U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo’s decision:

“The ecological and economic importance of the Chesapeake Bay is well-documented. As the largest estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay is essential for the well-being of many living things.... In short, the court concludes that the framework established by the Bay Partnership in developing the (pollution limits) is consistent with” the law.

This week, the (Fredericksburg, Va.) Free Lance-Star’s editorial page elaborated on the historic significance of the decision, not only for crabs, fish, and oysters but for the people who live in the Bay region:

“A long-awaited federal court decision rejecting an effort to block implementation of pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay is a huge and welcome step forward. The ruling was made Friday, Sept. 13--a lucky day for the ailing bay, which must regain its health or see its ability to provide billions of dollars to the region in commercial and recreational value severely compromised.”

To read the full editorial, click here.

In the court case, known as American Farm Bureau et al v. EPA, the plaintiffs made three complaints: (1) that the pollution limits for Bay exceeded EPA’s authority, (2) that they were based on faulty science, and (3) that the plaintiffs did not have adequate time to participate in the comment process. Judge Rambo found against them on all points.

“Clean water is the legacy I want to leave to my children and grandchildren,” CBF President Will Baker said after the ruling. “Restoring clean water puts people to work and strengthens our economies. We call on the opposition to cease their attempts to derail the clean-up efforts, lay aside expensive litigation, and roll up their sleeves and work with us for clean rivers and streams across the region.”

What do you think of Judge Rambo’s decision? Is it time to stop challenging EPA and get on with the work of restoring the Bay?

Chuck Epes

Chesapeake Bay Foundation


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