By Alex DeMetrick

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The Supreme Court handed the Chesapeake Bay a victory by not taking on a case.

Alex DeMetrick reports a suit challenging the EPA’s clean water rules was turned away by the nation’s highest court.

When a record rain hit last week, it overpowered two Baltimore sewage lines. Twelve million gallons of raw sewage entered the Jones Falls on its way to the harbor and the bay. By refusing to hear a suit challenging clean water rules, the Supreme Court let those rules go forward.

“Well, it’s a tremendous victory,” said Jon Mueller, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Because plans to reduce urban runoff from streets and parking lots, from agricultural waste on farms, from sewage treatment plants in states connected to the bay, will now be enforced by the EPA.

The American Farm Bureau Federation sued to block those plans.

“They didn’t like the way the plans were set up but the only way they could really challenge that was to go after the EPA and now with that having failed, those plans will go forward,” Mueller said.

While it took five years to make it through the courts, bay states were already working on the Chesapeake clean water blueprint.

By setting limits on pollution loads, developing plans to limit those loads with EPA consequences for failure, including withholding federal funds from states.

“And so now we just keep rolling forward,” Mueller said.

Toward a goal of a cleaner bay by 2025.

States that must limit pollution stretch from Maryland and Virginia to Pennsylvania and New York.


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