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Farm Bureau Attacks EPA Attempts to Limit Pollutant Runoff into Chesapeake Bay

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Farm Issues page, Environment and Climate Resource page, Washington D.C. News page, Maryland News page, and our Virginia news page.

Over its long history, the American Farm Bureau Federation, a powerful national lobby, has paid little attention to the Chesapeake Bay region, which includes the District, Virginia and Maryland. 

But at its annual conference in Atlanta last month, the group issued a call to arms against the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to limit the amount of toxic pollutants that flow into the bay from cities and farms and suffocate marine life.

The Farm Bureau recently filed a lawsuit in federal court in Harrisburg, Pa., to stop the EPA. It argued that the bay's cleanup is the responsibility of the six states in the region and that the EPA does not have the authority to establish a "pollution diet" that will cost taxpayers and farmers billions of dollars by the time it is fully implemented in 2025.

The lawsuit also says that the EPA's science in determining the level of the bay's pollutants is flawed and that the agency did not allow sufficient public comment in the run-up to the plan's implementation in December. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, and local governments in the Hampton Roads area of southern Virginia are contemplating their own suits, according to reports.

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