Attorneys for the American Farm Bureau Federation delivered legal arguments Thursday explaining why the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Water Act when it issued its “Total Maximum Daily Load” regulation for the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
AFBF believes that states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, not the federal government, are authorized by law to decide how best to achieve water quality goals. “The Clean Water Act put states in the driver’s seat when it comes to decisions about how to achieve clean water and restrictions on land use and development,” according to Don Parrish, senior director of regulatory relations for AFBF.
AFBF delivered the oral arguments and answered questions during a lengthy session before Judge Sylvia H. Rambo in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Pa. More than a dozen Pennsylvania farmers, as well as staff from several state Farm Bureau organizations within the watershed, attended the argument to show their support for the legal challenge.
AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said, “Judge Rambo clearly believes this case is important and involves complex legal questions. She had carefully studied the parties’ arguments and was active in her questioning. At the end of a very long day of arguments, she told the parties not to expect a quick decision.”