Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, discusses how the latest proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Chesapeake Bay will negatively impact everyone who lives, works, and farms in the Bay Watershed. Rep. Thompson recently participated in a forum hosted by the Rural America Solutions Group, which examined the unprecedented, overreaching, and burdensome regulations EPA is trying to impose on farmers, ranchers, and small businesses.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"There is a renewed effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. And that is a good thing. The problem is that it targets our farmers in Pennsylvania, and it includes Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
"The Environmental Protection Agency has a proposed rule on what is called the Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDLs. It will set maximum levels of pollutants that can be discharged into the Chesapeake’s tributaries and streams. This includes both point sources such as water treatment facilities and non-point sources—and that means our local farms.
"This proposal goes beyond an existing Chesapeake agreement; it has hard deadlines and it provides no funds to assist the farmers or communities affected.
"This is a hard push with the White House issuing an Executive Order back in May 2009, which echoes the EPA proposal. And it includes legislation that would put the order into law. Democrats just don’t seem to get that more and more regulation threatens our farmers and their way of life.
"I support Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s bill to offer incentives for farmers to reduce their pollutants. I believe in the carrot instead of the EPA’s big stick. During a time when the national focus should be on economic recovery, our farmers and communities don’t need another Democrat-backed unfunded mandate."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.