SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI - Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its final Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or "pollution diet" for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. TMDLs are a common pollution control mechanism set forth in the Clean Water Act. Out of more than 40,000 TMDLs that have been developed across the country, the Chesapeake plan is by far the largest and most complex, totaling 200 pages in the main document and more than 3,000 pages of appendices.

EPA Mid-Atlantic Region Administrator Shawn Garvin has called the TMDL "the largest water pollution strategy plan in the nation."

The National Corn Growers Association has closely monitored the process to develop this document over the past year, and submitted joint public comments along with a number of other agricultural organizations in early November.

NCGA’s Off the Cob spoke with Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Steve Ebke on the TMDL and its possible repercussions. In addition to explaining the basic regulation and its history, Ebke talked about possible EPA actions that NCGA analysis finds could result from this.

"This issue continues to be of importance to growers both inside and outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed," said Ebke. "EPA has indicated that the TMDL program in the Mid-Atlantic region could help form a template for how to deal with impaired water bodies in other parts of the country. "

To listen to the interview in its entirety, click here.

To read the TMDL in its entirety, click here.

SOURCE: National Corn Growers Association