Much of the Chesapeake's pollution comes from industrial farms. Their fertilizer and livestock waste drain into the Bay.
Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland says state regulation isn't working. "The [Chesapeake] Bay Program has not reached it's goals in the last couple cycles," he says.
Cardin plans to introduce a bill Tuesday to allow the EPA to penalize states that don't meet their goals.
Don Parrish with the American Farm Bureau says this could drive already-struggling farmers out of business.
"It appears to be a very aggressive approach," Parrish said of Cardin's bill. "It's probably something that we'll oppose very vigorously."
But Cardin is optimistic. "There's always interest groups," he says. "I happen to believe that the people of this region know just how valuable the Chesapeake Bay is."
Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland plans to introduce an identical bill in the House.
David Schultz reports...