Thursday, January 30, 2020

EPA Upset at Maryland over Pennsylvania Suit Threat

EPA letter criticizes Maryland over Chesapeake lawsuit threat
In a letter to members of Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday maintained its support for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts while criticizing Maryland, which has threatened to take the agency to court.

The letter was the latest salvo in an escalating battle over whether the federal agency is doing enough to prod Pennsylvania, which is far behind its Bay commitments, to take greater action.

It’s a dispute that appears increasingly likely to head to court. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Monday announced its intent to sue the EPA for failing to use its Clean Water Act authority against Pennsylvania.

That followed a Jan. 9 call from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calling for his state attorney general to initiate legal actions against Pennsylvania, citing the “obvious inadequacy” of its Bay cleanup plan, and against the EPA, which he said has “no intention” of forcing his northern neighbor to do more.  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has also said his state may take legal action.

The EPA’s letter said it “will continue to work diligently and professionally with all the jurisdictions and stakeholders engaged in supporting restoration of the Bay.”

But it also took aim at Maryland for threatening to sue the agency and Pennsylvania. “Diverting our collective resources to litigation will undoubtedly distract from efforts to restore the Bay and harm the existing partnership among the parties that has been the hallmark of the effort,” said the letter from EPA Region III Administrator Cosmo Servidio.
I guess the days of "Sue and Settle" are truly gone. 

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