American Farm Bureau Federation Takes Steps to Appeal Bay TMDL Case to Supreme Court

A September 28, 2015, Bay Journal article reported that the American Farm Bureau Federation has taken steps to appeal a series of lower court decisions to the United States Supreme Court over whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority under the federal Clean Water Act to enact the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  As previously reported on Conduit Street, in July the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal brought by the Federation, National Association of Home Builders, and other stakeholders over a previous U.S. District Court decision upholding EPA’s authority.  From the Bay Journal article:

The American Farm Bureau Federation has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an extension in the normal time to file an appeal, a strong indication that it intends to take its legal challenge of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan to the U.S. Supreme Court. …

On Sept. 17, the Farm Bureau signaled its intent to appeal by filing papers asking that the deadline for filing a petition to hear their appeal be extended from Oct. 5 to Nov. 6.

“The stakes are enormous,” it said in the application, saying that the 3rd Circuit’s approval of the TMDL would result in “burdensome regulations which touch virtually all ‘incidents of daily life’ within the watershed.” …

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the Farm Bureau and its allies continue to challenge the plan to restore water quality in local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker.

“Despite strong and well-reasoned decisions by the two lower courts, this filing shows the Farm Bureau’s determination to undermine efforts of six states and the District of Columbia to finally restore this national treasure,” said Baker, whose organization has defended the TMDL in court along with the EPA.”