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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said Monday it is preparing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, following Maryland in seeking to force a federal crackdown on Pennsylvania for the pollution it sends downstream to the estuary.
The nonprofit said EPA must be held accountable to its role overseeing environmental cleanup efforts across the bay's 64,000-square-mile watershed. An EPA official raised alarm among bay advocates earlier this month when he said a bay restoration blueprint was an aspirational goal and not an enforceable agreement.
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"That EPA is abdicating its responsibility under the Clean Water Act is a tragedy. Failing to hold Pennsylvania accountable undermines the success we have seen in recent years," William C. Baker, president of the bay foundation, said in a statement. "It is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
Maryland is preparing its own lawsuit against EPA and Pennsylvania, on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan orders. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Brian Frosh, who has sued President Donald Trump's administration repeatedly over rollbacks in environmental regulations, said she could not comment on the status of that litigation.
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Neither state nor bay foundation officials would say whether they plan to take legal action jointly. Jon Mueller, the bay foundation's vice president of litigation, said the organization is "in discussion with a range of potential partners concerning the legal strategies we can use to force EPA to comply with the law."
EPA officials said in a statement they...
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