The Counties' brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit describes their interest for the court. The counties claim that EPA's actions will, in effect, lock in local land use decisions. They say EPA wants to assign a certain number of pounds of nutrients which may come off of a specific parcel of land....
EPA wants to "…curtail or even prohibit certain land uses in order to achieve the reductions compelled by EPA." They believe EPA wants to take over land use, economic development, taxation and fundamentally take over state and local decision-making regarding land use.
Counties say "Not only did EPA seize the local land use function in counties affected by the [Chesapeake] Bay TMDL, EPA also largely ignored or overlooked the progress these counties have been making to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay."
Until USDA and its supporters fully explain agriculture's successes in protecting water quality to the appeals court, the American farmer and rancher face a difficult future with EPA controlling nutrients in stormwater running off our fields and forests.
Farmers and farmland owners in the Midwest need to take note of these claims. The same scenario could soon play out in the Corn Belt.
farmfutures.com has another article that talks about the EPA efforts that could destroy American Agriculture:
Simply explained, EPA is attempting to establish TMDLs for every water body in the Bay watershed. Second, EPA seeks to require each state to provide "reasonable assurance" that each stream has limits to be attained. Finally, EPA wants to require the states to set deadlines to put control measures and practices into place which will limit the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment running into the Bay.
Simply put, EPA for the first time in American history, will be able to say to a farmer that he must take his land out of production. In fact, according to the AFBF brief, the state of New York claimed "reliance on source reductions means that farms will go out of business in order for New York to meet its proposed allocations." EPA is simply going to federalize agricultural practices.
It is hard to believe a federal agency is claiming the last word on land use, but it is. Under the guise of protecting water, EPA can destroy American agriculture.