ARA Regulatory Update: A Pollution Diet for the Gulf of Mexico?
The Chesapeake Bay TMDL has been described by EPA as “a model for watershed protection in other parts of the country,” so it would likely form the basis for a Mississippi River watershed TMDL that EPA might be forced to establish as a result of the two lawsuits filed in March. Given the stakes, agriculture groups in the Gulf region should be aware of this recent litigation. It may also be possible for agriculture groups to intervene in one or both of these cases. The Gulf Restoration Network litigation is particularly ripe for intervention because it involves the question of whether EPA acted reasonably in rejecting a nation-wide nitrogen and phosphorous standard in favor of a cooperative, state-by-state approach to the problem. Agriculture groups may want to add their perspective to the growing debate about how to best address nutrient runoff from agricultural operations.