A recurrent theme in the past few months reporting on the coronavirus — and the COVID-19 illness it causes — is that testing matters. Whether we are talking about how many people have contracted COVID-19 or the effectiveness of efforts to reduce pollution of common waters, if we do not have the numbers, it is difficult to prove what we are doing either helps or doesn’t.

For instance, two states — Maryland and Virginia — and the District of Columbia have announced plans to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for what they claim is the EPA’s failure to make Pennsylvania and New York live up to their part in restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

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