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February 5, 2016

Newsline 2-4-16 Poll Reveals Chesapeake Bay Residents Do Not Trust Federal Regulation

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

Nearly three in four residents of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed say state and local government authority over water resources should trump federal authority. Micheal Clements has more.
Clements: A Farm Bureau sponsored poll conducted by Morning Consult shows that residents of the Chesapeake Bay region believe their local governments should have authority when it comes to protecting their water. Ellen Steen, general counsel for the American Farm Bureau, explains.
Steen: The results show that people within the watershed, which is a six state area, want state and local governments to be more in control of how our waters are restored, how our environment is protected, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; is to give the state and local authorities a little bit of their power back that Congress meant for them to have.
Clements: The poll results also showed that 62 percent of respondents said they were less likely to support the EPA’s Bay regulations because they would put a number of local farmers out of business due to restrictions and high regulatory costs.
Steen: The other thing that the survey shows is that the residents of the watershed care about their local farmers, and they care about jobs. We all want a clean bay, we all care about that but there’s room for balance. There’s room for the plans for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay to also account for human impact, including impact on local farmers.
Clements: Steen says the results show that goals Farm Bureau is trying to achieve with their EPA lawsuit are exactly in line with what the residents of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed want.
Steen: What we’re trying to do has been so mischaracterized over the years in the media, that we’re trying to stop the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, so these results are very comforting to us because we know what we’re trying to achieve, we know the values that we have and they include clean water and environmental stewardship, but they also include protecting local farmers and caring about people and this shows us that our values are in line with the values of the Chesapeake Bay area.
Clements: More information on the poll results can be found online at www.fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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