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To Protect Chesapeake Bay, Governor Hogan Directs Attorney General to Pursue Legal Actions Against Pennsylvania and EPA

Annapolis, MD - On January 8, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan directed Attorney General Brian Frosh to pursue legal actions against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to protect Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. Since his campaign for governor in 2014, Governor Hogan has repeatedly called on upstream states—including Pennsylvania—to step up and take responsibility for sediment and debris that pours into the Chesapeake Bay via the Susquehanna River.

“We have a generational responsibility to protect the Bay, and we simply cannot afford to fall short of these shared obligations,” writes Governor Hogan. “Therefore, I ask that you commence litigation against the EPA and Pennsylvania, and in close coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment.”
Read the governor’s letter to the Attorney General here.

In August, after watershed states submitted their final Chesapeake Bay clean-up plans to the federal administration, the governor expressed “alarming concerns” about Pennsylvania’s lack of progress on clean water goals and called on the EPA to use its robust oversight powers to hold states accountable.

“Pennsylvania, which is under ‘enhanced’ or ‘backstop’ federal oversight due to failed pollution reduction efforts, has proposed a draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) under which it would fall drastically short of its agreed-upon 2025 pollution reduction targets,” writes Governor Hogan. “The EPA currently appears to have no intention of taking the necessary action to ensure Pennsylvania’s compliance with its commitments.”

Governor Hogan is serving his second term as chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which consists of the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA administrator. As governor, he has committed an historic $5 billion toward wide-ranging Bay restoration initiatives, and was recently successful in securing an increase in federal funding for Bay cleanup.

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