Today, 12 Waterkeeper organizations in Maryland (including West/Rhode Riverkeeper) along with the Waterkeeper Alliance submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency. The petition calls for EPA to withdraw Maryland's delegated authority to administer the Clean Water Act's pollution permitting program for dischargers in the state unless the State takes the necessary corrective action and improves its performance. Maryland Department of the Environment and Governor O'Malley's office were notified of this action in advance.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is in crisis, and drastic action is needed. We submitted this petition with the singular purpose of improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay. It is our sincere hope that this action will result in a positive change in the way that Maryland enforces the Clean Water Act, and will ultimately help speed up the Bay's recovery.