out of streams are examples. This makes
sense. Reducing agricultural pollution is the
most cost-efficient way to reduce pollution.
At the federal level, members of Congress
are debating the next Farm Bill. In the
2008 Farm Bill, Congress delivered significant cost-share funding, which can be
attributed to helping many Bay state farmers reduce pollution. This go-around, CBF
and others are asking Congress to provide
stronger tools in a newly established program to help farmers manage nitrogen,
phosphorus, and sediment pollution more
effectively. Called the Regional
Conservation Partnership Program, this
program was included in the Senate-passed
version of the legislation. At press time,
whether or not this new program survived
was unknown. It would be a real tragedy
for Bay farmers if it did not.
At the state level, CBF will continue to press
for cost-share dollars in the upcoming 2014
legislative sessions, beginning in January in
Virginia and Maryland, and the current
2013-2014 session in Pennsylvania.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and
the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau sued in feder-
al court to throw out EPA’s pollution limits
in early 2011, less than two weeks after the
limits were established. Shortly thereafter,
the National Association of Home Builders,
Federation, The Fertilizer Institute, and the
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association joined them.
•The pollution limits exceeded EPA’s
• They were based on faulty science, and
• The plaintiffs did not have adequate time
to participate in the comment process.
AGRICULTURAL AND URBAN AND SUBURBAN RUNOFF POLLUTION LOADS TO THE BAY OVER TIME
Source: Chesapeake Bay Program 2012 Model
e n ) NITROGEN POLLUTION FROM AGRICULTURE IS DECREASING
NITROGEN POLLUTION FROM URBAN AND SUBURBAN RUNOFF IS INCREASING
CBF and five other groups intervened in the
case in support of EPA and, specifically, the
This past September, Federal District Judge
Sylvia Rambo ruled that the pollution limits
that EPA established for the Chesapeake Bay
and its tributaries are within the agency’s
purview and based on sound science. The
court also found that the Farm Bureau and
other plaintiffs had ample time to review and
comment on the proposed limits.
There could have been no better outcome.
The ruling affirms that the Clean Water
Blueprint stands on firm legal ground.
The Farm Bureau group announced their
appeal to the decision on October 7th. At
press time, we were waiting for the appeal
motion, to which we will respond. CBF will
once again intervene to protect the Blueprint.
Polluted Urban and Suburban Runoff
The Next Battleground
Only one major source of pollution is still on
the rise: polluted runoff flowing from blacktop, parking lots, roofs, and other “hard”
surfaces directly into our waterways. Along
its journey, runoff picks up nasty stuff that
degrades local water quality, contributes to
flooding, and puts human health at risk. In
some areas, for example, health departments
Since the Chesapeake
Clean Water Blueprint
was developed in late
2010, CBF’s priority has
been to defend and
implement this federal-
state commitment to
reduce pollution in rivers,
streams, and the Bay.
Programs and funding
are due in place by 2025
to return our waters to
clean and healthy.