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EPA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Settle Lawsuit

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The lawsuit settlement requires the EPA to develop enforceable limits and controls over the pollution that goes into the bay over the next two years.
Sabri Ben-Achour
The lawsuit settlement requires the EPA to develop enforceable limits and controls over the pollution that goes into the bay over the next two years.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce its plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The details are being unveiled just days after the Agency settled a landmark lawsuit over pollution in the Bay.

State and federal governments have been talking about rehabilitating the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. But every time there has been an agreement to actually reduce pollution (and there have been several agreements), they've missed the mark, "not by an inch but by a mile," says William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Baker's organization, along with several other groups and former officials, sued the EPA in 2009 for failing to act. That suit was settled yesterday, with the EPA agreeing to create enforceable pollution limits on an set timetable.

"All of the other agreements have been voluntary promises; this is a legal document, that's a huge difference," says Baker.

Baker says key to this agreement has been the dramatic reversal of the EPA under President Barack Obama. Within months of taking office, the president ordered the EPA to develop a federal strategy to restore the bay.

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