Friday, September 14, 2012

Farm Bill at Risk; EPA Wants Their Money

An article in the Bay Daily (the Chesapeake Bay Foundations blog) about how, if the farm bill doesn't get passed soon, the funds for farm runoff control projects will expire and we're all gonna die, and EPA won't get the money it uses to pay farmers to clean up their nutrient runoff.
The clock is ticking for an important clean water program.

Federal legislation is scheduled to expire at the end of this month that provides money for farm runoff pollution control projects that are critical to the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have been locked in disagreement over how long to continue and how much to cut federal Farm Bill, which provides this funding (with the costs shared by farmers) for these erosion control efforts, according to an article in the Bay Journal.

A few hundred farmers rallied outside the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the inability of lawmakers to agree on a new Farm Bill.

“Whether Congress passes a short-term extension, or ultimately passes a full five-year-bill, the stakes for the Bay region are huge,” Karl Blankenship wrote in the Bay Journal. “Agriculture is the largest single source of nutrient pollution to the Chesapeake, and the Farm Bill has historically been the largest funding source to help farmers install stream buffers, build manure storage facilities, plant cover crops and take other actions that help keep nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from reaching waterways.”
Of course, as we saw in the previous post, the Bay Journal is a  house organ of the EPA Chesapeake Bat Program.  Now, nominally, the EPA is not supposed by lobbying for itself but by slipping the money to the Bay Journal, which is only 70%  a creature of the EPA, they manage to get around that little issue.

We see the web of interconnections between the EPA, The Bay Journal, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in action.

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