National Ag Groups Sound Alarm Over EPA’s Florida Water Mandates

Wheat farmers in Kansas, dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and corn farmers in Iowa, along with millions of employers and employees who rely on a strong agricultural industry for prosperity, all have reason to be deeply concerned by the EPA’s implementation of draconian water mandates in Florida. That’s the word from national agriculture leaders. In a letter sent to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, 36 leading national agriculture groups expressed concern about the new EPA mandates for numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) in Florida’s waters.

If enacted, these mandates would establish a template of how NNC could be structured nationwide and would result in economic harm for the regulated community, for the economy as a whole and for the public sector that must develop and administer the NNC.

In the letter, the organizations urge the EPA to:

  • Delay further NNC policymaking until it has engaged with all relevant stakeholders in a thorough and transparent review of the strategic direction  of NNC policies.
  • Revisit and update the 1998 “National Strategy for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria” (National Strategy).
  • Not finish the NNC for Florida’s lakes and streams this fall and instead work on those in concert with the NNC that EPA is planning to finalize in August 2012 for all other Florida waters – and in the process answer the numerous and significant scientific, economic and policy questions about these NNC in an open and transparent manner.
  • Reject policymaking by settlement agreement, with its inherent opaqueness and the distrust that creates.

Click here to read the full letter.

The first set of EPA mandates is scheduled to take affect in Florida on Oct. 15. If that occurs, the new mandates will have an immediate, chilling impact on Florida’s economy, because the federal mandates will be the “law of the land” in Florida. Every water discharge permit that comes up for renewal will be subject to the new federal mandates, and EPA regulators will consider water bodies that do not meet the new federal mandates to be impaired.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture estimates that the total initial cost for agricultural producers to comply with the NNC for lakes, rivers, and streams to be between $855 million to $3.069 billion, and the subsequent annual compliance costs to be $902 Million to $1.605 billion. As a result, they estimate that the size of the Florida economy will be reduced by $1.148 billion a year and that 14,545 full and part-time jobs would be lost,” cited the agricultural leaders in the letter.

In addition to concerns about the heavy economic burden the EPA water mandates will place on Florida’s agricultural community, there are also significant questions regarding the scientific validity of the new mandates.

The letter goes on to say, “In the case of Florida, there are significant questions about the statistical, modeling and biological science used by EPA. By EPA’s own admission in the proposed rulemaking, there is no scientifically established correlation between these proposed NNC and the desired biological conditions in these waters. In general, we believe there is a serious lack of rigorous, generally accepted science that justifies the particular methods EPA adopted to generate these NNC in Florida.”
Source: Ron Sachs Communications

 

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

VegetablesSakata Seed America Shows Heart Through Charitable Prog…
September 19, 2014
Company’s corporate giving mission bears fruit for the American Heart Association. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateAdditional Aid Coming For Florida Citrus Growers Gouged…
September 17, 2014
Through USDA’s Tree Assistance Program, eligible growers can cash in on cost share for diseased tree removal and replanting. Read More
FruitsFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Seeks Fresh A…
September 17, 2014
New partnership bolsters Fresh From Florida program. Read More
CitrusFDA Announces Cooperative Agreement To Implement Nation…
September 17, 2014
Agreement will provide information to help plan and carry out the produce safety rule in partnership with state regulatory agencies. Read More
NutsAchieving A Super-Premium Walnut Crop
September 17, 2014
What are the best ways to get high quality walnuts that are light in color and fully developed? Read these 8 harvest best practices to find out. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Highly Dependent On Groundwater
September 17, 2014
Fully 87% of large growers use groundwater to irrigate their trees. Read More
NutsWarm Winter And Drought Casting Doubt On Pistachio Harv…
September 17, 2014
Though Rabobank report says that one billion pounds still attainable by 2019. Read More
Crop ProtectionBagrada Bug On The Move In California
September 16, 2014
Find out more on management tactics and what counties are impacted by this invasive pest. Read More
Cucurbits14 Stand-Out Melon Varieties [Slideshow]
September 15, 2014
Browse the slideshow below for information on these exceptional melon varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Grower Achievement AwardView Highlights From The 2014 United Fresh Washington P…
September 15, 2014
Browse this slideshow to view photos from the 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, including pictures of this year’s Grower Read More
Apples & PearsCanneries Hope To Encourage Growers To Grow Pears For P…
September 15, 2014
Higher wholesale prices offered as means to boost canning pear acres. Read More
FruitsDeadline Nearing For Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistanc…
September 15, 2014
Fruit growers who suffered losses due to frost or freeze in 2012 could be eligible for assistance through USDA’S Farm Service Agency. Read More
BerriesBotrytis Gray Mold Pressure Increasing With Humid Weath…
September 15, 2014
Michigan State University researcher offers tips to reduce the spread of spores. Read More
Fruits5 Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Orchard’s …
September 15, 2014
These deadly sins may be hurting your customers’ experience — and costing you money. Read More
FruitsSuccess And The Not-Top-100 Grower [Opinion]
September 15, 2014
Innovation isn't only happening at the top. Some of the most interesting ideas in the fruit industry are being executed by small growers. Read More
Apples & PearsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top Appl…
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
NutsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top Nut …
September 13, 2014
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts grown in California make up the crops featured in this portion of the Top 100 Report. Read More
FruitsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top 100 …
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More