Source: The Fertilizer Institute

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has joined 29 agricultural and forestry organizations in submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding water quality regulations it is proposing for the Chesapeake Bay. The comments outline the agriculture and forestry community's concerns with the agency's draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements for the Bay, while calling attention to the significant contributions of agriculture to improvements to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

"The agriculture community supports water quality protection and is taking action at the ground level to prevent pollutants from reaching waterways," said TFI President Ford West. "In fact, even EPA's data shows that since 1985 the agriculture community has reduced phosphorus loadings by over 21 percent, nitrogen loadings by 27 percent and sediment loadings by 24 percent within the Bay watershed." 

Despite these voluntary efforts, which have resulted in measurable improvements to water quality, the comments state that EPA's models do not account for many of the voluntary agricultural and forestry practices that are currently being employed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and as a result, the draft TMDL fails to acknowledge the success that has been achieved in the Bay by the efforts of the agricultural community and others.

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