The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the EPA in May announced a settlement of the environmental group's 2009 lawsuit against the agency, which had contended that the EPA failed to enforce the Clean Water Act to restore the Bay.
In the written agreement, the EPA committed to fulfill the promises it has outlined over the past year to guide cleanup efforts. For instance, the agency will complete a new Bay cleanup plan by the end of this year and require states to write plans showing how they will meet new pollution reduction goals, which the EPA will enforce.
The EPA committed to developing new regulations to control Chesapeake Bay pollution, and said it will require that new sources of pollution be offset with reductions elsewhere. It will also develop tracking systems to monitor pollution reduction efforts.
CBF President William Baker said if the EPA did not live up to the agreement, the group would go back to court.
Chuck Fox, adviser to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, acknowledged that agreement largely restated what the agency has already committed to, but added that the EPA takes such legal agreements "very seriously."