Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has signaled he wants to block the Environmental Protection Agency from spending any money on carrying out the Chesapeake Bay "pollution diet" that's requiring Maryland, Virginia and the other states in the bay region to increase their efforts to restore the troubled estuary.
In a comment published in the Congressional Record, Goodlatte (seen at right re-enacting his swearing in for the new Congress with Speaker John Boehner) has indicated he'll seek to amend the broad federal spending cuts proposed now by the House GOP leadership. Goodlatte said he wants to eliminate all EPA funding to "develop, promulgate, evaluate, implement, provide oversight to, or backstop" the bay "total maximum daily load," the bureaucratic name for the sweeping pollution reduction plan the Obama administration finalized six weeks ago.
EPA's move to require the six bay watershed states to curtail nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from cities, suburbs and farms has stirred fear and anger among developers, local officials and farmers, and the American Farm Bureau Federation filed suit to block it, concerned it may lead to similar water-quality crackdowns around the country.
William C. Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which called attention to Goodlatte's remarks in the Congressional Record, called the Virginia congressman's move "unfortunate" and urged its rejection. The Annapolis-based environmental group's president contended that the EPA's pollution diet is the "best and last chance" to restore the bay, after decades of failure by states and the federal government to do what's needed to clean it up.
(Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, re-enacts his swearing in last month with House Speaker John Boehner. AP photo/Susan Walsh)