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Homebuilders Group Sues EPA Over Bay Restoration

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The overall goal is to put programs in place for the Chesapeake Bay to recover no later than 2025.
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The overall goal is to put programs in place for the Chesapeake Bay to recover no later than 2025.

The National Association of Home Builders filed suit in federal court Friday. They argue the EPA's strategy unlawfully gets around the Clean Water Act, which gives primary authority to the states. It also claims the public wasn't given enough time or information to comment on the strategy and asks the court to block its enforcement.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is also challenging the strategy in the same court over similar arguments. The strategy in question is known as the pollution diet, where states come up with plans to reduce runoff into rivers that flow into the bay.

The EPA has said it's operating within the authority of the Clean Water Act, and that it was states who developed the plans, not the EPA. While the agency can't order states to develop plans to control most runoff, it has threatened to restrict permits on things it can control, like wastewater treatment plants, if states don't comply.

Environmental groups and ratepayer groups, are siding with the EPA. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the suit by the homebuilders group is another attempt by a special interest to avoid responsibility.

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