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The Chesapeake Legal Alliance's volunteer "Lawyers for the Bay" are providing their services to a diverse group of individuals, citizens' groups and environmental organizations on a wide variety of matters.

Their work has resulted in:

  • Cleanup of pollution from a former steel plant operation in Baltimore Harbor, the survival of environmental claims from bankruptcy and preservation of corporate funds for remediation of pollutants migrating to nearby waterways.
  • Implementation and monitoring of stormwater runoff controls from Interstate 495 construction in Virginia.
  • Denial of a permit for a large scale development that would destroy one of the last large forested tracts in Annapolis.  Plans did not adequately address environmental concerns, including impacts to forests and wetlands.
  • Significant concessions on forest management, runoff controls and environmental impact mitigation by a quarry operator in West Virginia planning to clear cut a mountaintop.
  • Abandonment of a project to build a large scale energy transmission project that would have involved and impacted negatively the largest, historically, combined area of wetlands located in Delaware, Virginia and Maryland.
  • A lawsuit initiated by the State of Maryland against the owner of a closed landfill to clean up the site and prevent off-site migration of pollutants.
  • Denial of a pollutant discharge permit to a repeat violator chemical plant on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
  • Merger of organizations that resulted in the formation of Blue Water Baltimore.
  • Criteria developed by the City of Annapolis for application of Maryland Forest Conservation Act requirements to development projects.
  • Administrative proceeding to strengthen Maryland Concentrated Feeding Operations (CAFO) permits.
  • Contract development for Future Harvest's farmer mentoring program.
  • Reconsideration of residential and commercial development project at historic Fort Howard site in Baltimore County, Maryland.
  • Denial of request to transfer increased zoning density to property comprising one of the last pristine waterfront areas in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, increased setbacks for building sites, and directive to comply with critical area and all other environmental requirements in any future permit submissions.
  • Patent for company that developed floating wetlands placed in Baltimore Harbor and other areas.
  • Merger of Scenic Rivers Land Trust and Bay Land Trust.
  • Requirement that a private school, located in the critical area, submit a comprehensive plan for future building projects to Anne Arundel County, Maryland before consideration of a permit for the addition of impervious surfaces to the campus.
  • Not for profit status achieved for four Bay related organizations.
  • Permit secured for stream and wetland restoration project along Maryland's South River.

CLA's volunteer attorneys are involved in projects often led by coalitions and advisory groups on issues of regional importance such as:

  • Legal assistance in the development of comments on the proposed regulations for total maximum daily loads (TMDL) of pollutants set for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and to groups supporting the final regulations set by EPA for the Bay TMDL or "pollution diet," including the filing of an amicus ("friend of the court") brief by the City of Annapolis in support of EPA's regulatory authority and actions, and advice on implementation plans.
  • Development of nutrient trading regulations and advice on how to develop a viable, enforceable and transparent trading program.
  • Strategizing and development of methods to encourage use of agricultural best management practices and proper and effective government monitoring, review and enforcement of nutrient management plans.
  • Use of smart growth planning and prevention of sprawl development and associated septic system use issues.
  • Forest mitigation proposals and the intersection with trading principles in order to maximize the programs available under environmental laws and encourage marketplace participation while protecting natural resources.


69 Franklin Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
phone: (410) 216-9441
fax: (410) 216-7077