EPA Policies Criticized as “Anti-Ag”
The American Farm Bureau Federation, a non-profit farmer’s advocacy group, has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies regarding water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The EPA, concerned with agricultural and industrial runoff, tightened regulations determining the total maximum daily load regarding production runoff in the Chesapeake. The EPA claims that the new regulations are designed to protect communal water from pollution.
The Farm Bureau, however, has recently criticized the EPA’s regulations as being fundamentally anti-agriculture. Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman claimed that the EPA is, “ready to downsize American agriculture, mothball our production and outsource our farmers.” Stallman and the Farm Bureau filled a lawsuit January 10 to undo the EPA’s regulations.
Stallman further argued that the EPA has refused to take economic and business concerns into consideration when making their ruling, and that the new TMDL regulations would add undue costs to the regional agricultural structure that the industry “cannot bear.” The Farm Bureau lawsuit also alleges that the EPA data are flawed and that it failed, “to provide the public with critical information about the basis for the TMDL and allowed insufficient time (45 days) for the public to comment on the incomplete but highly technical information that EPA did provide.”
In addition to the lawsuit, the Farm Bureau plans to an initiative to reassure consumers about the Bureau’s commitment to safe, environmentally friendly agriculture. “We know that we committed to producing safe and nutritious food, we know that we work to protect and enhance the environment and we know that we humanely care for our animals. The public – our neighbors – still want to be convinced,” Stallman concluded.
Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer