Housing group sues over Chesapeake Bay restoration strategy

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Associated Press | WVEC.com

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 28 at 1:31 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A homebuilder's group is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

The National Association of Home Builders filed suit in federal court in Pennsylvania on Friday. The group says the EPA's strategy unlawfully circumvents the Clean Water Act, which gives primary authority to the states. It also claims the public wasn't given enough time or information to comment on the strategy and asks the court to block its enforcement.

The suit is the latest challenge to the restoration effort. The American Farm Bureau Federation is also challenging the strategy in the same court. Environmental groups and ratepayer groups, meanwhile, are siding with the EPA.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the suit by the homebuilder's group is another attempt by a special interest to avoid responsibility.

“Meaningful pollution reduction will require all to do their part, including those who build new houses. This lawsuit is yet another attempt by a special interest to avoid responsibility for their part of the total pollution loading. Apparently, they want to maximize profit for their narrow interest and force everyone else to bear the burden of dirty, unsafe water," said Foundation President William C. Baker.

“One has to believe that real success in Saving the Bay is close at hand when yet another national lobbying organization files suit to stop the restoration effort," he added

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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