Monday, September 16, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Update: EPA Prevails in Chesapeake Bay Watershed Suit

On September 13, 2013, the court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania filed a decision in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lawsuit brought by American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Judge Rambo, writing for the court, stated that deference must be given to agency (EPA) findings due to their scientific and technical expertise. She explained that the plaintiff (AFBF) failed to meet its burden of showing that the EPA’s issuance of the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load was arbitrary and capricious. Additionally, the court found that the procedures established to ensure public participation in the TMDL drafting process were sufficient to withstand scrutiny under the Administrative Procedures Act. In Judge Rambo’s conclusion, she states that the EPA did not infringe on Bay state’s rights under the Clean Water Act because the CWA is an all-encompassing and comprehensive statute in which Congress envisioned a strong federal role in enforcing.

For more information on the lawsuit, please see the Penn State Agricultural Law Center’s Chesapeake Bay Resource Area.
Written by Sarah L. Doyle - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
September 16, 2013

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