Chesapeake Bay TMDL Decision Appealed to Third Circuit

Chesapeake Bay TMDL Decision Appealed to Third Circuit

A number of entities are appealing the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s September 13, 2013 ruling upholding EPA’s authority to develop the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, the largest TMDL ever established in the United States. The TMDL sets loading limits for phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and covers the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Delaware as well as the District of Columbia. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL is unique in that it extends beyond state boundaries. The decision of the District Court noted that the Clean Water Act does not address what happens when impaired waters overlap state boundaries, but nothing in the Clean Water Act prevents EPA from taking a holistic or watershed approach to the impairment as it did with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Intervening on behalf of EPA in the District Court were the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, among others. The case was appealed on October 7, 2013 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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