The second phase of the EPA's plan to curb pollution in the Chesapeake will create requirements for local jurisdictions.
In January, the American Farm Bureau Federation sued the EPA over what's known as the Pollution Diet, or TMDL, which is a plan to get six states and the District of Columbia to cut down on the amount of agricultural and urban runoff that gets into the bay via rivers and streams.
In court the Farm Bureau and other agricultural groups argue the EPA doesn't have authority to do this and that the agency used flawed science and rushed the process. John Mueller heads litigation for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which wants to join the lawsuit on the EPA's side.
"There's no question the EPA had the legal authority and the moral obligation to develop a bay TMDL," Mueller says.
He says the states have worked collaboratively with the EPA to develop the pollution-reduction plan, and the EPA is required to do this by an executive order and multiple lawsuits. While a federal judge decides whether the groups can join in the suit, the restoration effort continues.
States are expected to draft detailed pollution reduction plans this year.