An alliance of environmental groups today announced that it has filed a motion in federal court to oppose efforts by national agricultural lobbying organizations to block new federal and state programs to reduce pollution and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, Defenders of Wildlife and several other organizations want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Bay area states to move ahead with implementing new pollution limits in what is called the Chesapeake Bay pollution "diet," or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). These limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution -- required by the federal Clean Water Act and court cases -- are designed to restore water quality in the Bay and its tributaries by 2025.
However, lobbyists representing the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Fertilizer Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Chicken Council and other agricultural industry groups filed a lawsuit earlier this year to try to eliminate these pollution limits.
"Just as the Bay is making progress in its long fight to survive, these big money industry lobbyists are trying to derail the process. Why? A simple profit motive," said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker. "They want the rest of us to suffer dirty and dangerous water so they can maximize their corn, hog, and poultry profit."
Ironically, the same lobbyists who are fighting government pollution limits also lobby hard for government money (that means your taxpayer money) as subsidies for their industries. What do you think about this? If they are willing to receive government cash, should they also respect government rules designed to keep manure, chemical fertilizers, and sediment out of our streams, rivers and Chesapeake Bay? Voice your opinions here.
For more information, click here.
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation