In September, a district court upheld a proposed method for figuring total maximum daily load supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Farm groups were not happy about the numerical system that could eventually be applied in other parts of the country, and this week they've announced they will appeal the court's decision.
In announcing it would appeal the decision the American Farm Bureau Federation issued a statement. The group wants to appeal the decision that supports EPA's "pollution diet" for the 64,000-square-mile area. AFBF filed notice to appeal the court ruling and is seeking reversal of the decision, which gives EPA wide latitude to dictate local land use and development decisions.
In the statement, AFBF President Bob Stallman comments: "This is a wrongly decided case that has dangerous implications for farmers and many others in the Chesapeake Bay area and nationwide. This case isn't about whether or not to protect the Chesapeake Bay - we all share that goal. This case is about whether EPA can dictate where farming will be allowed, where homes can be built and where businesses can be established."
The National Corn Growers Association also filed notice to appeal. In its announcement, Martin Barbre, NCGA president, states: "NCGA feels it is in the best interest of farmers to appeal the district court’s decision which upheld the TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay. Our organization understands and supports the need to protect water quality but we don’t support a wrongfully decided case when it has a profoundly negative impact on agricultural production and innovation. We continue to believe the policies and science behind Chesapeake Bay TMDL are wrong and that it goes beyond the scope of Clean Water Act authority.
Adds AFBF's Stallman: "Win or lose on appeal, farmers and ranchers will continue their dedicated efforst on the farm to improve water quality and the natural environment. In the meantime, AFBF will continue to oppose what we see as a remarkable power grab."