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Saturday, 26 March 2016 04:58

Chesapeake Bay cleanup good for Lagoon

Written by  Baltimore Sun

Posted March 26, 2016, revised March 27 at 8:30am
Pollution and Florida Politics, cont'd.

Rick Scott's Florida was one of many states who signed onto a lawsuit to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. This is relevant for us here in Florida, where the EPA has been blocked from cleaning up Florida waters. But the Supreme Court has acted: Cleanup plans may proceed, legally. That's good news for Florida citizens, including here on the polluted and dying Indian River Lagoon.
-- SCPA Editor


Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging Chesapeake Bay 'pollution diet'

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts.

The Baltimore Sun, by Scott Dance, updated February 29, 2016

The Supreme Court said Monday it would not hear a challenge to the "pollution diet" set for the Chesapeake Bay, in effect upholding the blueprint for a substantial cleanup by 2025.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and its allies said the federal Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its authority in establishing the plan to limit nutrient and sediment runoff across the bay watershed. But a federal appeals court sided with the EPA last year, and with the high court's refusal to take the matter up, that ruling will stand.

The decision could strengthen efforts to impose similar water quality improvement plans across the country. Agriculture and business groups say they fear it could set a precedent that gives the EPA extensive power over state and local land use. ...

In 2010, the EPA set a "total maximum daily load" of nutrients and sediment permitted to wash into the Chesapeake.

The plan sets goals of reducing nitrogen runoff by 25 percent, phosphorus by 24 percent and sediment by 20 percent by 2025, with an interim goal of achieving 60 percent of the reductions by next year.

Chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which run off of farmland into the bay, fertilize algae blooms that, when they decompose, create oxygen-bereft dead zones in the water. Algae blooms and sediment can block sunlight from reaching underwater grasses that create habitats for fish and shellfish….

They attracted the support of the attorneys general of 22 states and business groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief that the EPA had given itself "significant power over land use decisions affecting local businesses throughout the nation."

In declining to hear the case, Supreme Court justices let stand the appeals court judges' opinion that federal law allowed EPA and states to work together to "best allocate the benefits and burdens of lowering pollution." ...


Compiled by Team SCPA

Last modified on Sunday, 27 March 2016 06:26
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