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June 10 – To help farmers dealing with potentially burdensome regulations from
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Congressmen Tim Holden (D-PA), and
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), respectively Chairman and Ranking Member of the House
Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy &
Research, introduced the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement
Act on Thursday.
2008 Farm Bill took significant steps to address water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Congressman Holden. “This
new program builds upon that initiative to improve water quality and quantity;
restore, enhance and preserve wildlife habitat without economic harm to our
communities and producers.”
bill will support ongoing efforts to reduce the pollution flowing into the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed by providing agriculture producers the tools and
certainty they need to implement conservation practices on their land and by
giving all sectors the flexibility to meet their regulatory requirements under
the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest and
most diverse estuary. In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress established a new
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program to help reduce nutrients and sediment that can
flow into the Bay Watershed. That program has been very popular among
landowners in the region and has built upon the ongoing work USDA and its
partners have been undertaking.
this effort is barely underway, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
recently announced new regulatory measures to reduce nitrogen, phosphors,
and sediment going into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through the
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process.
bill would provide agriculture producers resources and certainty through an
assurance program and establish guidelines for a regional trading system that
will allow farmers and industry the ability to participate in Bay-wide trading
program to help achieve reduction goals.
200 miles long, the Chesapeake Bay is a
wonderful resource, still beautiful and still teeming with life that we both
harvest and appreciate, said Rep. Bob Goodlatte. “Unquestionably the Bay is in
need and worthy of our attention and concern and I believe everyone has a role
to play in restoring it.”
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