A district court judge has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s total maximum daily load for the Chesapeake Bay. According to Judge Syliva Rambo – the EPA is within its rights under the Clean Water Act to partner with the states in the bay watershed to cut the pollution that pours in from sewers and construction developments – and particularly chemical and biological waste from farms. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says his group believes the ruling is incorrect and has huge implications for farmers and many others in the Bay area and nationwide. Stallman notes farmers care deeply about our natural environment and want to do their part to improve water quality. But he says Congress didn’t authorize EPA to dictate how farmers, builders, homeowners and towns would share the responsibility of achieving clean water. According to Stallman – that’s the job of the states. Farm Bureau believes EPA’s approach wrongly puts federal agency staff in charge of intensely local land use decisions. Farm Bureau and its allies in the case are reviewing the court’s decision and evaluating next steps.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and other organizations filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to stop the EPA from moving forward almost two years ago. The Fertilizer Institute, National Pork Producers Council, National Corn Growers Association and the National Chicken Council joined the plaintiffs.