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Farm Bureau will take Chesapeake Bay water quality fight to Supreme Court

Farm Bureau will take Chesapeake Bay water quality fight to Supreme Court

Group in support of Chesapeake Bay pollution plan says it will continue to defend it

The American Farm Bureau plans to take its fight over EPA Chesapeake Bay pollution limits to the Supreme Court, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a group in support of the limit plans.

Related: Cleaner Chesapeake Update: Where federal funds are flowing

Joining AFBF in the effort to overturn two lower court decisions on the blueprint will be the National Association of Homebuilders. AFBF has requested an extension of time to ask for the Supreme Court to hear the appeal.

The AFBF and the Homebuilders originally sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency in federal district court in 2010, though the case was lost. An appeal in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals also was lost.

Group in support of Chesapeake Bay pollution plan says it will continue to defend it (Thinkstock/Coast-to-Coast)

Farm Bureau says the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint creates concern about EPA's role in determining land use and specific water quality goalsetting. The Blueprint requires that the six Bay states and the District of Columbia follow specific plans to meet EPA-enforced nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution limits.

AFBF further argues that though the limits are confined to the Bay states, it will affect the entire country in terms of economic activity, and will set a precedent for EPA control of pollution limits for each farm, home site or acre of undeveloped land across the region.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an intervenor in support of the Blueprint and EPA, argues that AFBF's case will continue "to undermine efforts of six states and the District of Columbia to finally restore this national treasure."

"We and our members have repeatedly encouraged the Farm Bureau and the Homebuilders to put their energy and money into working with us to reduce agricultural and runoff pollution, the largest sources of pollution degrading the Bay," the group said. "We believe working together to reduce pollution is a far more productive approach than re-arguing points that have been resolved."

More on the Chesapeake Bay clean-up story:
Chesapeake Bay regs would 'flood' Midwest farms
Chesapeake Bay water clean-up model: What Midwest farmers learned.
Chesapeake model: Who'll pay for Mississippi River's clean-up?

TAGS: Regulatory
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