Tuesday, October 5, 2010

EPA Targeting Chesapeake Bay Farmers

Bay cleanup could cost farmers

Act would step up protections for bay, cause stricter regulations


Published: October 04, 2010

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay could cost local farmers more than just money.

“If you’re a farmer now, and you’re barely making it, and this regulation comes along, you’ll have to get out,” said Bill Nance, a farmer in Bedford. “There’s a good number of (local) farmers who may have to get out of farming because of this legislation.”

U.S Senate Bill 1816, The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2010, steps up the protections for the bay by applying new, stricter regulations and extending the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill will go to the full Senate in the coming days.

The entire Chesapeake Bay watershed is overburdened

by nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. The nitrogen and phosphorous kill the grasses below the surface and suck oxygen from the water, creating dead zones. Oysters and other wildlife that used to thrive now struggle to survive.

This pollution comes from agriculture as well as air pollution, storm-water runoff, sewage and other factors.

Last week, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation delivered 18,000 letters from farmers protesting the bill to Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb.

“Even without the letters, your Farm Bureau leadership has been crystal clear on how you feel about the bill,” Warner told farmers in a Senate conference room Thursday, according to a news release about the event.

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I’ve recently been highlighting some of the things that the EPA is doing that will severely impact the ability of family farmers and ranchers to grow food.  Their only goal seems to be increased regulations regardless of what it does to the people in this country.  In order for our country to remain great, an abundant, reliable food supply must be grown right here.  Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be a concern of this federal agency. 

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