The American Farm Bureau, National Association of Home Builders and other groups are reviewing whether they will appeal a court ruling upholding mandatory pollution reductions in Chesapeake Bay.

In a July 6 decision, a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Environmental Protection Agency, working with states, had the legal authority to enforce the bay plan.

In 2010, EPA established a “total maximum daily load” to reduce the bay’s nitrogen and phosphorus levels. Under the plan, the six states that feed into the bay are required to implement measures to trim water pollution by 2025. If the states do not comply, they could face penalties.

NAHB and the Farm Bureau filed a lawsuit in 2011 challenging the bay plan but lost in district court and now at the appellate level. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies sided with EPA, claiming that the agency’s “holistic watershed” approach ensures
agricultural sources, not just wastewater treatment plants, must reduce pollutant levels.