The Ag Minute: EPA's Flawed Chesapeake Bay Model is a Burden to States & Rural Communities

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson discusses the burdens facing states, rural communities, and agricultural producers from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. There are concerns that the model is flawed and is creating another regulatory burden on states and rural communities.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"This week Members of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry will continue its oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 

"The TMDL is what EPA calls a 'pollution diet.'  It’s a firm limit on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that can be discharged into the bay.

"Several of the six states in the watershed have raised issues with the cost and regulatory burden of this process.  There are great concerns over the accuracy of the models EPA has used to come up with their estimates for reductions. And, there are concerns that the EPA may disregard the states’ plans and impose costly additional limits.    

"If you don’t live in the Chesapeake Bay area, don’t stop listening now.  The model that EPA is applying to the Bay could one day be applied along the Mississippi and in the Great Lakes region. 

"That’s why the Agriculture Committee is closely monitoring this process and its effect on states, rural communities and agricultural producers. 

"Agriculture is one of the top industries in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and has been disproportionately affected during the cleanup process so far.  Restoring and maintaining the health of the Bay is a worthwhile pursuit, but EPA must be fair and realistic with this process." 

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.