Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Update: Farm Groups Appeal Chesapeake Bay Ruling

On October 8, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Corn Growers Association are among the groups who said they have each filed a notice to appeal the September 13th federal district court decision which upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s rights to work with the six states in the 64,000 square foot Chesapeake Bay watershed to regulate runoff.

AFBF, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, the National Chicken Council, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Turkey Federation, and the National Association of Home Builders originally filed suit in January 2011 in federal district court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  The ruling of Judge Sylvia Rambo gave EPA wide discretion to work on a “pollution diet” saying in her decision that “[t]he EPA is within its rights under the Clean Water Act to partner with the six states in the bay watershed to cut the pollution that pours in from sewers and construction developments, and particularly chemical and biological waste from farms.”

The AFBF press release states that AFBF seeks an appeal “to preserve the primary role of states in setting land use policy and determining how to achieve water quality goals.”  According to AFBF, “the Clean Water Act puts states in the drivers’ seat to determine how farmers, builders, homeowners and towns will share the responsibility of achieving clean water.  EPA’s framework puts EPA in control of these decisions.”

For more information on the appeal, see the AFBF press release.  For more information on the district court ruling, see the District Court Opinion and our September 16 blog post.  Visit the Penn State Agricultural Law Center’s Chesapeake Bay Resource Area for further resources.

Written by Alyssa Looney – Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
October 9, 2013

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