EPA Confident That Bay TMDL Will Withstand Legal Challenges

As reported in an August 3 Baltimore Sun article, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is confident that the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) mandate can withstand legal challenges.

 The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Chesapeake Bay ‘czar’ says the agency’s plan for reducing the estuary’s pollution can stand up to legal challenges being mounted by farming and development groups.

“If you want to challenge the bay restoration effort, that’s fine. Because we’ve got the science, we’ve got the modeling, we’ve got the legal backing. We will win this one,” said Jeff Corbin, senior advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “The tricky part is going to be where is the money going to come from.”  …

While predicting eventual victory in the courts, Corbin said, according to the [Associated Press], that the new strategy has brought the issue to a crossroads, and more money will be needed to ensure success.

Virginia, for instance, has estimated its share of the bay cleanup effort could reach $8 billion, while Maryland has projected needing to spend $13-15 billion. Both have called on the federal government to increase funding of the effort.

In Maryland, legislation will likely be introduced in the 2012 Session that will:  (1) double the Bay Restoration Fee, which is primarily used to upgrade wastewater treatment plants; and (2) require local governments to adopt  stormwater management fees to offset some of the local costs that will be incurred for stormwater retrofits under the TMDL.

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