In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, a diverse group of agricultural organizations has voiced their opposition to "an 11th-hour effort" to include the controversial bill, S. 1816, The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, in the potential Lands, Waters and Wildlife omnibus legislation. They say the inclusion would substantially change the Clean Water Act by expanding the Environmental Protection Agency's authority.
The groups said that while the provisions would apply in six states and the District of Columbia, EPA has repeatedly said it views the Chesapeake Bay proposal as the model for regulatory action in other major watersheds, such as the Mississippi River Basin.
The letter continues, "We are all supportive of common-sense, cooperative approaches to solving water quality problems within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Unfortunately, this legislation falls far short of that approach."
The letter points out there has been a commendable effort on both sides of the aisle to develop bi-partisan legislation relating to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a final agreement has not yet been reached.