RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam, who serves as chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, issued the following statement today after Virginia joined Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia in filing suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to enforce the terms of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement which require partner states to reduce their pollution levels in the allotted time frame.
“Years ago, the EPA, the states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the District of Columbia agreed to a common strategy to restore America’s most beautiful estuary. But not all states are living up to that commitment, and the EPA is just standing by.
“I am committed to achieving the Bay partnership’s restoration goals by 2025, and as Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I intend to move quickly to execute the Council’s plan for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
“This will require a strong and engaged partnership—including the EPA holding each partner accountable to the commitments they made. Federal leadership and state partnership are the right way to restore the Chesapeake Bay, and I am grateful to Attorney General Herring for his leadership on this issue.”
Governor Northam is serving his first term as chair 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 administrator of the EPA.