The National Association of Home Builders has filed a lawsuit challenging EPA’s mandatory Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. Nat’l Ass’n of Home Builders v. EPA, No. 11-1213 (M.D. Pa. filed 6/24/11). Plaintiff contends that the agency exceeded its authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in developing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the bay and that the 45-day public comment period on the proposed TMDL was inadequate.

The association also alleges that the agency withheld certain documents from the public that should have been available during the comment period. According to the complaint, the CWA authorizes EPA to determine through the TMDL process the statewide pollution reductions necessary to restore an impaired water body, but allows the states to determine the specific actions needed to achieve the reductions. The complaint asks the court to declare that EPA has violated the Administrative Procedure Act, to vacate the final TMDL and to block enforcement of the final TMDL.