American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says he is “deeply disappointed with the district court’s ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay. “We believe the ruling is incorrect and has huge implications for farmers and many others in the Bay area and nationwide.”
A federal judge upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to set and enforce nutrient standards in the Chesapeake Bay, according to an article by AgProfessional, available here.
U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo ruled that the EPA can enforce Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) nutrient standards on six states and Washington, DC, which have waters flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. The text of the opinion is available here.
The AFBF filed a lawsuit in early 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to stop the EPA’s enforcement of TMDL standards. Many organizations including the Fertilizer Institute, National Pork Producers Council and National Chicken Council joined the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs argued that the cleanup of the bay was the “sole responsibility” of states and the EPA lacked authority to establish a “pollution diet” costing “taxpayers and farmers billions by its full implementation in 2025.” Plaintiffs also said that the EPA did not give adequate public notice for the plan, arguing that the 45-day comment period was too short.
Stallman declares: “Win or lose in this lawsuit, farmers care deeply about the natural environment and want to do their part to improve water quality. But Congress did not authorize EPA to dictate how farmers, builders, homeowners and towns would share the responsibility of achieving clean water. That is the states’ job. We believe EPA’s approach wrongly puts federal agency staff in charge of intensely local land use decisions.
To learn more about AFBF, visit http://www.fb.org.
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