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March 4, 2014

AFBF Receives Support in Chesapeake Bay Lawsuit

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to dictate exactly how water quality goals are achieved as a result of the Chesapeake Bay lawsuit ruling. AFBF general counsel Ellen Steen says Farm Bureau believes the states have the power to make those decisions under the federal Clean Water Act. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyEllen Steen, American Farm Bureau’s general counsel, says it’s a federal versus state power issue. The American Farm Bureau supports the power of the states within the Chesapeake watershed to determine how to best clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
SteenWhat we don’t support is a federal authority for EPA to micromanage local state decisions. We want the states to have the power and the flexibility that Congress intended for them to have to achieve their water quality goals in the manner that they choose.
OtterbySteen says this case is important for farmers and ranchers across the country, not just those within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
SteenThe particular mechanism that EPA has chosen to carry out its Chesapeake Bay plan basically asserts that the federal government has the power to dictate these decisions. So, if this legal mechanism is upheld for the Chesapeake Bay area, it’s highly likely that EPA is going to exercise that power elsewhere, too.
OtterbyA couple of weeks ago, 21 state attorneys general filed a brief supporting AFBF’s position.
SteenSince that time, there’s been a lot of misinformation that some of our opponents in the litigation have put out really attacking these 21 state attorneys general as trying to stop the Chesapeake Bay clean-up, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
OtterbySteen reiterates that it’s a federal versus state power issue, and Farm Bureau wants to make sure the power is with the states. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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