Challenge to Chesapeake cleanup tests EPA power

Bay Restoration-EPA Authority

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland is joining three other jurisdictions in supporting the Obama administration’s plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It’s seeking to counter an election-year legal challenge by farmers and 21 attorneys general.

The case before a federal court in Philadelphia asks whether the EPA went too far in negotiating a 2010 agreement that sets pollution limits on the nation’s largest estuary.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler argues the cleanup is making progress and shouldn’t be derailed by outside states with no interest in the Chesapeake Bay. Joining him are Delaware and the District of Columbia; Virginia earlier had submitted a separate brief in support.

Among the other states which agreed to the Chesapeake plan, West Virginia is now opposed.

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