Farmers and others in agriculture are watching Environmental Protection Agency's actions associated with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Specifically the attention is focused on regulations pertaining to Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the East Coast watershed.

The reason it’s garnering attention in the Midwest and elsewhere is that EPA’s actions toward the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, could be a warm up for a future focus on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Among the concerns is that EPA’s TMDL model is flawed and will create another regulatory burden on states, rural communities and agriculture/food production.

"The TMDL is what EPA calls a 'pollution diet.' It’s a firm limit on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that can be discharged into the bay,” says Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.) and member of the House Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry.

Six states are in the Bay’s watershed, and officials in several are concerned about the EPA’s process of developing the estimates for required reductions. In fact, there are additional concerns that EPA may disregard the states’ plans and impose costly additional limits.

"Agriculture is one of the top industries in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and has been disproportionately affected during the cleanup process so far,” Thompson notes. “Restoring and maintaining the health of the Bay is a worthwhile pursuit, but EPA must be fair and realistic with this process."

To hear more from Thompson’s discussion on the U.S. House broadcast of The Ag Minute, click here.