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High court rejects challenge to Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 29, 2016 10:24 AM
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(Washington) -- The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from farm groups challenging a federal plan that limits pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  

The justices today let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's restrictions on farm and construction runoff and wastewater treatment. 

The EPA says animal waste and fertilizer that flows from streams into the Chesapeake is the single largest source of bay pollution. 

Six states agreed to the pollution limits: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia and West Virginia, along with Washington, D.C.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William Baker calls the rulling a historic day for the Bay.

"Everyone who cares about clean water can breathe easier now that the Supreme Court has let stand the lower court decision that Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is perfectly legal under the federal Clean Water Act, " he said in a statement. ""Now that all of the legal challenges have been denied, we hope those who have opposed the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint will devote their time, expertise, and money to working with all of the clean water partners to help Save the Bay. Our collective and collegial efforts to Save the Bay, a true national treasure, can be a model for other waters worldwide."

The American Farm Bureau Federation and others fought the restrictions.

They argued that the EPA was usurping state authority to regulate waterways. 

The case is American Farm Bureau v. Environmental Protection Agency, 15-599.

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