Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia discusses H.R. 5509, the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act. It is a bill he recently introduced that will protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay while also ensuring the strength and vitality of our family farms and rural communities within the Bay Watershed. The bill calls for a review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Bay model and would require improvements to the model so that all efforts to preserve and protect the Bay are recognized. The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee on which Rep. Goodlatte serves as Ranking Member of the Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research Subcommittee.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"For too long the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed the burden of environmental regulations on our farmers and ranchers without recognizing the contributions our producers make to protect the environment.
"A prime example of this is happening in Virginia with efforts to preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay.
"I often hear complaints from farmers and others who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that the EPA does not recognize their good faith efforts to restore and protect this natural resource. The EPA Bay model does not account for any voluntary measures that our farmers undertake to control nitrogen and phosphorous, nor does it account for nutrient reductions achieved through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
"The EPA is ignoring the advances agriculture has made in protecting the environment as it pursues a reckless regulatory agenda that places economic hardships on our agricultural producers.
"That’s why I, along with Congressman Tim Holden (D-PA), introduced a bill, the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act. It calls for a review of and improvements to the EPA’s Bay model so that all efforts to improve the Bay are recognized.
"The EPA needs to know that there is a way to both restore the Chesapeake Bay and maintain the economic livelihoods of our producers and rural communities."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.