The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has sued EPA over the agency’s new water quality standards for Chesapeake Bay.Am. Farm Bureau Fed’n v. EPA, No. N/A (M.D. Pa. 01/10/11).

The complaint alleges that EPA exceeded its authority when it enacted a program that sets total maximum daily loads (TMDL) within the Chesapeake Bay watershed—fed by the waters of six states—and that the standards will “starve agriculture out of the entire 64,000-square-mile . . . watershed.” It also argues that (i) the final TMDL is based on computer simulations that EPA never defined adequately; (ii) EPA used an unprecedented process to micromanage waterways from Virginia to New York through the assignment of highly specific pollutant loads; (iii) the standards set by EPA are based on erroneous information about agriculture fertilizer use and runoff; and (iv) EPA failed to provide the public with necessary information to effectively comment on the rulemaking. Plaintiffs seek to vacate the TMDL and enjoin EPA from implementing it.