Thirty agricultural and forestry groups submitted joint comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding proposed Chesapeake Bay water quality regulations.

The organizations have concerns regarding the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements for the Bay and want to bring attention to the "significant contributions of agriculture to improvements to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay," according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). “Even the EPA’s data shows that since 1985 the agriculture community has reduced phosphorus loadings by over 21%, nitrogen loadings by 27% and sediment loadings by 24% within the Bay watershed,” said TFI President Ford B. West.


The groups are concerned that the EPA is withholding information that would allow the public to fully understand the EPA's stance on TMDL and that stance's impact on the surrounding economy. “By withholding adequate information regarding the TMDL, the EPA has inhibited the agriculture community’s ability to properly evaluate and comment on the requirements,” said West.