Source: The Fertilizer Institute and Agricultural Retailers Association

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) joined other agricultural organizations in urging members of the U.S. Senate to oppose any efforts to attach the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act (S. 1816) to bills that might move through an upcoming "lame duck" session of Congress. The bill would fundamentally change aspects of the Clean Water Act and set water policy precedents that will impact watersheds throughout the United States.

"S. 1816 does not authorize a program to improve water quality through collaboration, technical assistance, and funding," said TFI President Ford West. "Instead, S. 1816 would set a major legislative precedent in federal environmental law, taking the authority and control granted to states and local governments under the Clean Water Act and turning it over to EPA — a step never before taken in the 38-year history of the law."

The letter sent by all of the agriculture organizations to all members of the Senate, details the way in which S. 1816 would transition authority and control from states and local governments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, the letter calls attention to the fact that S. 1816 would grant EPA the authority to issue Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) without giving states the opportunity to act first. 

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