A report funded by agricultural advocacy groups which was critical of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Model was found to be flawed by a scientific panel. This announcement is the latest in a series of battles over the EPA’s increased regulation of the Chesapeake Bay.
Last year, the EPA increased regulatory restrictions on the amount of sediment and pollution that could be discharged into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The new regulations set off a firestorm across the Atlantic seaboard. Farm organizations petitioned Congress to intervene and have sued in federal court to block the implementation of these new regulations.
Some farm groups even sponsored their own scientific investigations. Last December, the Agricultural Nutrient Management Council, which is in part funded by the Farm Bureau, and LimnoTech released a report critical of the EPA’s Bay Model, a model which tracks and monitors pollution in the Chesapeake.
This report was circulated as evidence of the EPA’s poor management and unfair regulatory behavior.
However, the Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee recently released a report that blasted the LimnoTech findings, claiming that they misinterpreted model results. Overall, they claimed that the report demonstrated “poor scientific merit.” The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which hired on outside consultant to review the LimnoTech report, came to the same conclusions.
The Agricultural Nutrient Management Council said that the STAC wording was harsh and hoped to review their initial findings. However, they and other farm organizations are adamant that they will continue to fight the EPA’s regulations in order to protect bay area farmers.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer