Weaker air laws could
hurt all Bay residents—
human and animal alike.
D.C. & FEDERAL AFFAIRS
EPA Backpedals on Regulations
Cleaner air helps make a cleaner
Chesapeake Bay. That’s why CBF has
been fighting proposals by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to weaken several important air-pollution regulations.
Scientists estimate that about one-third
of the nitrogen entering the Chesapeake
comes from air pollution, much of it
in the form of nitrogen oxides (NOx)
from power plants, vehicle exhaust, and
agriculture. Combined with nitrogen
from wastewater treatment plants and
farm and city runoff, nitrogen from the
air sparks algae growth in the Bay, and
eventually low oxygen. We can’t finish
the job of saving the Bay without further
reducing air pollution.
Federal Clean Air Act laws have helped
reduce nitrogen oxides reaching the Bay.
The regional plan to clean up the Bay—
the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—
is counting on EPA to further reduce this
type of pollution into the future.
But EPA is backpedaling. It has proposed
rolling back numerous environmental
regulations. For example, EPA wants to
freeze tailpipe emission standards and
the Corporate Average Fuel Economy
(CAFE) at 2020 levels rather than
further reduce vehicle emissions. It also
proposed to roll back the Clean Power
Plan, the first-ever attempt at limiting
carbon pollution from U.S. power plants.
CBF has provided detailed comments to
EPA explaining the danger of weakening
these and other regulations. Science
has clearly established the strong link
between clean air and clean water. The
Bay has benefitted significantly from
steadily stronger clean air regulations.
Weaker air laws could mean a dirtier
Bay as well as increased respiratory
problems for residents.
Congress Negotiating Farm Bill
The Farm Bill provides federal funding to
help farmers plant trees along streams
and undertake other conservation
measures; efforts that are critical to
restoring the Bay. Two separate versions
of the Farm Bill were passed in the U.S.
House and U.S. Senate earlier this year.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey
introduced legislative language in
the Senate bill to reinvigorate the
important Conservation Reserve
Enhancement Program (CREP), thereby
helping Pennsylvania and the other Bay
jurisdictions meet state Chesapeake Bay
In addition, Maryland Senator Chris
Van Hollen introduced amendments to
the Regional Conservation Partnership
Program (RCPP) that will increase
funding and give preference to areas like
the Chesapeake Bay that have water-quality problems and help increase
At press time, party leaders announced
they were very close to reconciling
the House and Senate bills and CBF is
hopeful that the Farm Bill will make it
through the remaining processes needed
to pass during the lame-duck session.
U To stay up-to-date on these important
issues, join our Action Network at
DRY GASES AND
BACK TO EARTH
AS ACIDIC RAIN
AIR POLLUTION ENTERS THE WATERSHED
Air pollution from
adds to excess
nitrogen to rivers,
streams, and the
Bay. This pollution
falls to the ground
as particles or
in rain and snow
and runs off into