An independent panel of scientific experts has concluded, in a report released this morning, that an agricultural industry study that sought to delay EPA’s Chesapeake Bay pollution “diet” is of “poor scientific merit” and full of errors.
“It was an effort to mislead the public, the farm community, and Congress, using flawed science," CBF Senior Water Quality Scientist Dr. Beth McGee said. "The (agriculture industry) report was but one part of a coordinated attempt by national agribusiness lobbying groups to block implementation the Chesapeake Bay pollution diet and to delay efforts to clean up the region’s rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.”
The Bay pollution “diet” is a set of pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, also called the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL, that seeks to reduce the total amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Bay by about 25 percent by 2025.
Last July, an agricultural trade organization called the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council released a report by a firm it had hired called LimnoTech. The LimnoTech report argued that Bay pollution “diet” should be delayed because of allegedly serious discrepancies in scientific modeling used to develop the limits.
“It is clear to us that the EPA’s TMDL water regulations are based on flawed information," American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in July 2011 press release.
This morning, an independent panel of scientists convened by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) released an analysis of the Limnotech report that found: “The LimnoTech analyses have poor scientific merit and promote a false set of criteria by which to judge the suitability of the Chesapeake Bay Program watershed model for use in the TMDL implementation process.”
The scientific committee found that the LimnoTech report had significant “errors” and “does not provide sufficient evidence to suspend implementation of the Bay TMDL.”
To read the whole STAC report, click here.
What do you think about this?
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(Photos of cows in north central Pennsylvania's Wyalusing Creek by Tom Pelton)