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Groups to EPA: Clean Up Your Act on Chesapeake Bay

November 10, 2008

Harrisburg, PA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could find itself slapped with a lawsuit by environmental groups if it fails to fix pollution problems in the Chesapeake Bay and its Pennsylvania tributaries. Pennsylvania is the largest source of pollution to the Bay, via the Susquehanna River.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has notified the EPA of its intent to sue, if the agency doesn't reduce pollution enough to have the Bay removed from the federal "dirty waters" list by 2010. EPA has admitted that the goal will not be achieved with its current policies. Matt Royer is an attorney for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and he says the EPA has had years to improve the Bay's water quality.

"It's really been 25 years of failed promises by EPA and the federal government to commit the resources and the leadership that are needed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed."

Royer hopes the EPA will find reason to clean up its act with Barack Obama in the White House.

"We are certainly hoping that the next administration will see clean water and the Chesapeake Bay cleanup as an important priority, and allocate the resources and actions necessary to achieve those goals."

The EPA now has 60 days to respond before the lawsuit can be filed. The agency says it will complete a pollution reduction budget by 2010 to expedite the restoration. In the meantime, Pennsylvanians can play an important role in helping the Bay, by avoiding use of chemical herbicides and pesticides, by planting trees, and by properly disposing of hazardous waste.

Kelley Glorioso Fodel/Eric Mack, Public News Service - PA