Montana Farm Bureau applauds AFBF lawsuit against EPA | TSLN.com

Montana Farm Bureau applauds AFBF lawsuit against EPA

ATLANTA, GA – The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) applauds the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for filing a lawsuit in federal court to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s pollution regulatory plan for the Chesapeake Bay.

“We all want a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “This lawsuit is about how we get there. Farm Bureau believes EPA’s ‘diet’ for the Chesapeake is dangerous and unlawful.”

AFBF said the agency is overreaching by establishing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or so-called “pollution diet” for the 64,000 square mile area, regardless of cost. The TMDL dictates how much nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment can be allowed into the Bay and its tributaries from different areas and sources.

MFBF’s Vice President of Governmental Relations John Youngberg says even though the regulatory plan is focused on six states that drain into the Chesapeake Bay, EPA’s regulatory plans affect farmers and ranchers nationwide.

“The EPA has actually stretched the Chesapeake Bay across the nation,” explained Youngberg. “Their rule applies regulatory framework to nonpoint source pollution. Currently, managing nonpoint source pollution is handled by farmers, ranchers and others using voluntary Best Management Practices. They’ve done a credible job. This rule gives the EPA the ability to override those BMPs and regulate the nonpoint source pollution. It’s a bad idea.”

In addition, Farm Bureau believes EPA’s used inaccurate science in establishing the TMDL, and did not allow enough time for public comment.

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“Nonpoint source pollution is exactly what it says,” Youngberg noted. “You can’t define a place where the pollution reaches the stream. It’s very hard to regulate and will take a lot of bureaucracy to enforce the rule and money to try to ‘fix’ what EPA claims is pollution. It will hit farmers and ranchers hard where it counts most – on their bottom line.”

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